The White River Bridge, before it was re-painted this last summer. File photo by Kevin Hanson

The White River Bridge, before it was re-painted this last summer. File photo by Kevin Hanson

Open house on plan for new White River Bridge

Sen. Phil Fortunato hopes that active constituents can help convince the legislature to make money available to create a new bridge over the White River before 2040, which is when WSDOT recommends the bridge be built.

Sen. Phil Fortunato is hosting an open house for the residents of the Plateau to discuss the results of a Washington State Department of Transportation Study.

Specifically, Fortunato wants to talk about the future of state Route 410 and the long-term plan for adding a second bridge over the White River, potentially connecting Buckley and Enumclaw.

The WSDOT study recommended adding an additional two-lane bridge around 2040.

“It should not take 22 years to get an additional 2-lane bridge over White River,” Fortunato said in a press release. “The current trestle is vulnerable to damage and causes major traffic problems if there’s a closure. I need the help of engaged constituents to get this project started sooner. Representatives Irwin, Stokesbary, and I were successful in fighting to move up the Spiketon bridge replacement from 2022 to 2019 with the help of engaged constituents. I’m hoping we can do the same for the Buckley-Enumclaw Bridge.”

The White River Bridge was damaged in 2015 when a vehicle somehow struck an overhead support, causing the bridge to shut down for a full week, severely lengthening some commutes.

The Spiketon Bridge in Buckley has also been closed since it was discovered a load-bearing pier was settling into the ground last August.

WSDOT originally said the money needed for replacing the bridge or constructing a temporary bridge would be available in 2022. The department announced earlier this week that construction of a temporary bridge will start by spring 2019.

The open house is 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 10 at the Enumclaw Fire Department on 1330 Wells Street.

Stokesbary and WSDOT will also be attending.

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