Puyallup Herald

What’s the future of the old Puyallup River Bridge after $1M DOT giveaway idea failed?

Remember when the Puyallup River Bridge was removed four years ago and placed on the side of Meridian Avenue?

Expect your commute to include views of the bridge until 2025.

The bridge, also known as the Meridian Avenue Bridge, connected Puyallup to North Puyallup for 90 years before it was “decommissioned” in 2015. A new bridge, costing $31 million, replaced the deteriorated steel truss span.

The old 379-ton bridge was moved to a lot just north of the river, where it has been since.

A state Department of Transportation plan to give someone $1 million to dismantle, relocate and reassemble the bridge did not pan out.

Dozens of bids poured in, some from as far away as Europe, but none of the offers met the necessary requirements to maintain the historically registered 371-foot-long bridge, spokesperson Tina Werner told The News Tribune.

The Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation put rules on the bridge’s relocation, including that the new owners must remove the lead and preserve the span for public viewing for five years.

WSDOT opened up the bridge up for sale a second time with the same result, Werner said.

Now, WSDOT’s new plan is to wait.

The transportation department said the bridge will remain along Meridian Avenue until the last portion of the 167 Gateway Project.

Plans are not yet solidified, but they look to require the company chosen to rebuild the Route 167 and Route 161 interchange to be responsible for demolishing or disassembling the 1925 Warren truss bridge, Werner said.

The project to construct the new interchange is not expected to start until 2025, Werner said.

A report by KIRO-TV said the bridge is still for sale, but WSDOT insists it is not.

“It is not for sale,” WSDOT’s spokesperson Cara Mitchell said. “We have crossed that bridge.”

Josephine Peterson covers Pierce County and Puyallup for The News Tribune and The Puyallup Herald. She previously worked at The News Journal in Delaware as the crime reporter and interned at The Washington Post.