Enumclaw council discusses White River bridge closure

It was a speedy session – with adjournment coming just 38 minutes after the opening gavel – when members of the Enumclaw City Council last met.

It was a speedy session – with adjournment coming just 38 minutes after the opening gavel – when members of the Enumclaw City Council last met.

Included in the abbreviated meeting was a presentation by representatives from the state’s Department of Transportation, who addressed plans for coming repairs to the bridge that spans the White River between Enumclaw and Buckley.

The news, essentially, was that there is nothing new. Plans still call for the bridge to close at 10 p.m. Friday, April 15, and reopen at noon April 23.

Early in the process a vertical steel beam will be replaced and the bulk of the week will be dedicated to applying heat and straightening damaged parts, said Amir Rassie, a DOT assistant regional administrator for construction.

Councilman Jan Malinaro asked if the DOT has accounted for potential troubles that might extend the bridge closure. Rassie downplayed that possibility, noting that the agency has allowed “sufficient time to get the work done.”

He noted that the opening could even come a day earlier than expected if work is completed quicker than planned.

In other action during their March 28 meeting, members of the council:

• moved forward with construction of a new water reservoir to be built on city land just east of Enumclaw.

The reservoir, with a capacity of 3 million gallons, carried a cost estimate of slightly more than $4.6 million. The city received two bids and accepted an offer by Skaar Construction to do the job for $4.5 million.

The project will be funded by a loan totaling $5.8 million from the state’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. The debt carries an interest rate of 1.5 percent and will be repaid by the city over the next two decades.

With construction of the new reservoir, it’s assumed the city’s storage capacity will more than meet its 20-year growth projection.

• listened as Mayor Liz Reynolds issued a proclamation declaring April to be Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Enumclaw. The proclamation notes that one of six boys and one of four girls will be the victim of sexual assault prior to their 18th birthday.

• heard from a citizen who complained that city utility rates have increased too quickly. In asking the council to conduct a review of current charges, she said the current rate structure “is not right or fair.”

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