Rating:
16 votes

Meridian Street Bridge

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Photos 

Puyallup River Bridge

View from East

Photo taken by K. A. Erickson in November 2009

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Facts 

Overview
Through truss bridge over Puyallup River on WA 167 in Puyallup
Location
Puyallup, Pierce County, Washington
Status
Open to traffic with weight restrictions
Future prospects
Section 106 Review ongoing. Potential interest in relocating bridge to Foothills trail exists.
History
Built 1925; rehabilitated 1951
Builders
- M.M. Caldwell (Consulting engineer)
- Puget Sound Bridge & Dredging Co. of Seattle, Washington (Contractor)
- Virginia Bridge & Iron Co. of Roanoke, Virginia [also known as Virginia Bridge Co.]
Design
Rivet-connected modified Warren through truss displaying some visual characteristics of the Turner truss configuration. Bridge contains 14 panels @ 26'6" each
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 371.0 ft.
Total length: 477.1 ft.
Deck width: 21.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 18.6 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Puyallup River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+47.20240, -122.29402   (decimal degrees)
47°12'09" N, 122°17'38" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/553469/5227898 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Puyallup
Inventory number
BH 34457 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection (as of 07/2011)
Deck condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Appraisal: Structurally deficient
Sufficiency rating: 2.0 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 2010)
17,756

Update Log 

  • March 26, 2012: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added categories "Riveted", "14-panel truss"
  • March 25, 2012: New photos from K. A. Erickson
  • June 16, 2011: Updated by Nathan Holth: Corrected Name
  • March 22, 2011: Updated by Nathan Holth: Bridge is Eligible For National Register
  • February 6, 2011: Updated by K. A. Erickson: Bridge is now DOOMED!
  • April 27, 2010: New Street View added by James Baughn

Sources 

Comments 

Meridian Street Bridge
Posted August 12, 2012, by K. A. Erickson

Recently I drove over this bridge on the way to work. WSDOT had cleared a section along the northern shore and appeared to be doing testing for pile driving in the river. This serves as a reminder that the clock is indeed ticking on this bridge.

The Foothills Trail is now a part of the National Recreational Trail system. It is hoped that this new recognition will spur interest in completing it's missing links. One of which may be solved by the Meridian Street Bridge.

A debate has surfaced regarding the possible relocation of this bridge. Some feel that moving it causes the bridge to lose its historic nature as it has developed a sense of place where it is now. The bridge would no longer be NRHP eligible at it's new location and possible altered state.

Meridian Street Bridge
Posted March 26, 2012, by K. A. Erickson

It does seem that there is a push by the Foothills Trail Coalition to have a span at the White River Crossing whether or not it is this one remains to be the question. The county parks departments hired an engineer to assist them. Russ Holter of DAHP was the one who said he had seen this sort of thing done before, meetings and the like and nothing ever became of it … that is preservation of a span.

The two Bobs, Krier and George, seemed to have knowledge on historic spans, present and past. The former actually lived in Bismarck growing up and delivered papers in Mandan using the former Liberty Memorial Bridge.

The consulting meeting was interesting. I am not sure exactly what I have, if anything to offer, so I might not continue to attend.

I’ll work on preserving something else.

Meridian Street Bridge
Posted March 26, 2012, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I attended a consulting party meeting for Section 106 regarding this bridge today by conference call. Their is interest in King and Pierce County in having this bridge moved to the Foothills trail. The counties are working with a consulting engineer in evaluating the bridge for the feasibility of preserving it on the trail system.

Mention was made as to the cost of demolishing this bridge. The rough estimate given at the meeting was $500,000 - $1,000,000 and they referred to the $1,000,000 cost more frequently leading me to believe the cost would be closer to that.

Meridian Street Bridge
Posted March 26, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

After speaking to my experts and looking at pictures, this bridge is just out of the scope of what we do at Workin' Bridges. Million or more to move, much less to destroy is the answer I got to the question. Sorry we couldn't help K.A. but do have some referrals to large companies that might be able to give you better numbers.

Workin' Bridges works with spans to about 175 feet built up to 1916 when the auto changed everything. Good luck. Call with any questions. Julie

Meridian Street Bridge
Posted March 21, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Keith, could you email me. I am trying to come up with some numbers for you but this is the largest bridge that we have looked at from Workin' Bridges. The cost to move and disassemble a 175' bridge has been worked out but it was quite a bit less structurally. However, if they combine the cost to destroy and build doing a rehab would be significantly less. I don't have your email.

Julie

Meridian Street Bridge
Posted February 21, 2012, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)

K.A. Erickson, I'm writing a short summary of the bridge and would like to use a couple of your bridge pics. Is that ok with you? Please send me your response to my e-mail address. Thank you! :-)

JS

Meridian Street Bridge
Posted February 17, 2012, by Julie Bowers (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

That is great news Nathan. Getting them to stop and think before any decisions is important. Section 106 gives SHPOs 30 days to make those inquiries before moving forward. SHPOs claim overwork for their part. Get your expert advice in soon for sure and request meetings so they really have to think about it.

I wish Section 106 triggered every bridge.

Meridian Street Bridge
Posted February 16, 2012, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

They may have tried to rush for a new bridge here initially, but we have found the bridge eligible for the National Register, and as such Section 106 has now been triggered. WSDOT must first consider feasible and prudent alternatives to demolition alongside input from consulting parties such as myself before this project can move forward.

Meridian Street Bridge
Posted February 16, 2012, by K. A. Erickson

There's common confusion. There were two large truss bridges built over the Puyallup River at the same time, 1925, one at Meridian Street, the other the old Pacific Highway or US 99 Bridge. If you do a search or ask a librarian for help they hand information, all in one folder, on both even if you've asked for a particular. In the case of Meridian Street there was a proposal for a signature bridge there, Cable stayed, but the fact that they are rushing the new bridge means a common ordinary UCEB.

Eells Street Viaduct/US 99

http://bridgehunter.com/wa/pierce/86563000000000/

http://bridgehunter.com/wa/pierce/85011000000000/

http://bridgehunter.com/wa/pierce/86562000000000/

1925

Meridian Street Bridge
Posted February 15, 2012, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)

Here is the latest on the bridge. It appears that both the Turner truss and the concrete beam bridge will both be demolished in favor of a cable-stayed bridge by 2018 (most likely the truss bridge will be gone in 3 years). Link: http://www.miltonedgewoodsignal.com/news/view/more-funding-f...

Meridian Street Bridge
Posted July 17, 2011, by K. A. Erickson

This bridge is closed for some reason. WSDOT has a single lane going over the adjacent bridge now. Crane and other construction vehicles currently on or near bridge.

Support for saving this bridge appears less than the former Ruston Tunnel, especially true for locals.

The daily newspaper accepts letters to the editor, allegedly putting a premium on less than 150 words to guarantee a spot in the printed version and then usually just buries anything that is not political, e.g. “I love Obama (or Democrats).” “I love Bush (or Republicans).” etc on the back section of their blog.

Trial balloon below:

http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2011/07/14/lets-not-w...

Puyallup River Bridge
Posted March 22, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I should clarify my recent update. In terms of the National Register, The bridge is listed as "Recommended Eligible" in the Historic Bridge Inventory which is listed as something different that "Determined Eligible." I am not sure what the difference is. I will try to find out. I want to ensure this bridge is considered officially eligible so that Section 106 must be conducted.

Puyallup River Bridge
Posted March 21, 2011, by K. A. Erickson

Nathan it gets worse. They are going to begin tearing it down ASAP! WSDOT has only preserved ONE bridge in its entire existence, natch a covered bridge.

There are many bridges lost I feel bad for but this one ... hurts ... it HURTS!

Puyallup River Bridge
Posted February 7, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

This is a nationally significant bridge as the last known Turner truss bridge. It is extremely disappointing to see WSDOT's position regarding this important historic bridge.

Puyallup River Bridge
Posted February 6, 2011, by K. A. Erickson

Washington State DOT is in the design process to replace this bridge within the next five years. Weight and lane restrictions are being implemented. With increasing press releases and calls appealing to the legislature for funds to replace quickly!

http://wadot.wa.gov/News/2011/02/03_PuyallupRiverBridgelaner...

Puyallup River Bridge
Posted December 24, 2010, by Jacob Woods (jwoods484 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

This is a historic and beautiful bridge it needs to be preserved whether its rating is 10 of 10, 1 of 10 or any where in between!!

Puyallup River Bridge
Posted May 2, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

It certainly is close enough to a Turner design to suit me. It definitely is NOT a Pennsylvania truss as currently listed. It is fortunate for our national heritage that this bridge exists, because North Dakota demolished what I thought was the only extant Turner truss, in one of the worst atrocities against historic bridges I am aware of. http://bridgehunter.com/nd/burleigh/liberty/

Note that the sufficiency for this bridge is only 9%. Obviously, this bridge should be rehabilitated or relocated for preservation, but preservationists should be vigilant for this bridge. Washington State has a hit or miss preservation record (they plan to demolish one of the rarest bridge types in the country, a large concrete truss).

Puyallup River Bridge
Posted April 28, 2010, by Michael Goff (michael [dot] goff [at] odot [dot] state [dot] or [dot] us)

I have to agree with James and Robert. The bridge is very similar to the second version of the Turner truss on the patent sheet that James provided.

The bridge obviously does not have the short struts at the truss connections like the first example but the truss member layout is almost identical to the second example. The only members missing are the small vertical members that are dashed on the patent sheet, so one might assume that those may be optional.

This is a great find and another beautiful example of truss technology in the Pacific Northwest. Good job K.A. Erickson on capturing the photos in the Puget Sound area.

Puyallup River Bridge
Posted April 27, 2010, by James Baughn (webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com)

I think we might have something here. This bridge looks very similar to the original Turner patent:

http://bridgehunter.com/documents/patents/1441387.pdf

Google Street View has very nice coverage of this bridge, especially from the parallel modern bridge, but also from the streets below.

Puyallup River Bridge
Posted April 27, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This significant bridge may be either a Turner Truss or some sort of modified Turner. In other words, it appears to be a smaller version of the now demolished Liberty Memorial Bridge in Bismarck, North Dakota.

A million Pontist Points to K.A. Erickson for this discovery!