The state Department of Transportation has started its replacement of the state Route 167 Puyallup River bridge.
Thursday marked the first day of construction for the $23.3 million replacement project. The steel-truss bridge that carries northbound traffic will be replaced with a two-lane steel plate girder structure.
During construction, traffic will be rerouted to the lanes that typically carry southbound traffic.
The SR 167 Puyallup River bridge, which was built in 1925, carries an average of about 18,000 vehicles daily. It is the main link between North Meridian, River Road and SR 167 in Puyallup.
The project is expected to be completed in fall 2015. Upon completion, southbound traffic will permanently reroute to the new structure and northbound traffic will use the existing concrete bridge on the opposite side.
The existing span is classified functionally obsolete and structurally deficient, meaning its design is outdated and it is below the state's desired rating for replacement of some or all of the structure. It is also fracture critical, meaning a major structural failure could cause the entire span to collapse.
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