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WSDOT closes sinking East Pierce bridge that’s too costly to repair

The Spiketon Creek Bridge on state Route 162 is east of South Prairie on Pioneer Way East, connecting the town to Buckley and Wilkeson. It is closing permanently.
The Spiketon Creek Bridge on state Route 162 is east of South Prairie on Pioneer Way East, connecting the town to Buckley and Wilkeson. It is closing permanently. Courtesy

The Spiketon Creek Bridge was supposed to be closed for a month. Now, it’s shut down for good.

The closure comes after engineers with the Washington state Department of Transportation found that piers — the large columns that hold up the bridge — had settled to a degree that the 82-year-old bridge is too dangerous to use.

“This was not a decision we made lightly,” said WSDOT administrator John Wynands. “We knew the bridge was reaching the end of its useful life.”

The bridge, on state Route 162, is east of South Prairie on Pioneer Way East, connecting the town to Buckley and Wilkeson.

A replacement bridge had already been scheduled to be built in 2022.

The pier settlement was discovered on Aug. 16 while crews were prepping the bridge for deck repairs.

WSDOT estimates that repairs to offset the settlement would cost more than $2 million and not a wise use of public funds.

A signed detour has been set up to get drivers around the bridge: Eastbound drivers go north on Mundy Loss Road, east on state Route 410 into Buckley, then south on state Route 165. Westbound drivers take that same detour the opposite directions.

The portion of the Foothills Trail that goes beneath the bridge remains open.

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541, @crsailor
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