King County has indefinitely closed the Newaukum Creek Bridge outside Enumclaw.
The closure of the 40-foot timber bridge, located on SE 416th St, between 288th Ave. SE and 236th Ave. SE, was announced on July 28.
According to King County’s roads department, staff found “advanced rot” in the crossbeam in the middle of the bridge. Staff inspects the bridge every two years.
“High water levels have contributed to the accelerated rot,” department staff said. “Because of this, we are seeing deflection at the center beam, and it’s starting to be reflected up through the pavement as we are seeing cracks lining up with the center beam. The bridge structurally can no longer support vehicular loads.”
King County engineers are currently drawing up plans to repair the bridge, which will likely include replacing all three timber cap beams.
It’s unclear when the bridge, which handles nearly 1,600 vehicles a day, will be open to traffic again.
“Much depends on material availability, and it could take up to two months to receive the necessary material,” roads department staff said. “In any case, we hope to start the repair soon after… Staff are actively working to keep the community updated throughout the process, and we anticipate to be able to provide more information in the next few weeks.”
Commuters can get around the closure via 288th/236th and SE 424th St.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated since July 29.