Tacoma’s Wright Park has a new bridge — installed Thursday in just minutes. No assembly required.
The pedestrian bridge replaces a wooden bridge that spanned the gap between the upper and lower ponds. That 2003 bridge closed more than a year ago because of safety concerns.
So many bridges have been built, reconfigured and dismantled at the site that the exact number can’t be pinned down.
The earliest known bridge was made of whole log timbers, architect David Boe said. It’s believed to date from about 1890.
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The new metal bridge is 56 feet long and 8 feet wide. It came complete with Trex protective wood decking.
The span left a plant in Minnesota on Monday and was lifted off its truck Thursday morning at Wright Park.
The bridge has curved balusters that echo the design of a previous bridge at the site, said engineer Bill Sandbo of Peterson Structural Engineers.
A crane swung the bridge around a tree and lowered it to fit snugly between two pre-made concrete abutments. An inch-wide gap separated the bridge from its abutments on either side.
“Measure three times, cut once,” Sandbo quipped. (No worries. They’ll fill in the gaps.)
Park users feeding ducks — a practice Metro Parks Tacoma frowns upon — paused to watch the bridge fly into place.
Crews still need to build approaches to the bridge, Sandbo said. It should open for use next week.