Puyallup River/ Meridian Street Bridge

Puyallup River/ Meridian Street Bridge, Historic Bridge NRHP Eligible 

The SR 167 Puyallup River/ Meridian Street Bridge (Bridge No. 167/20E) has been determined structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. Deteriorating floor beams were detected during a routine bridge inspection and load restrictions were placed restricting heavier vehicles traveling northbound on SR 167 to one lane. Puyallup River/ Meridian Street Bridge, view 1947
The project proposes to replace the function of the existing steel bridge with a new two-lane three-span bridge across the Puyallup River on SR 167. The new structure will have wider shoulders and lanes with an 8-foot sidewalk to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety. Project work will include bridge piers, abutments, roadway approaches, bridge superstructure and some grading and re-vegetation. Improvements will also be made to the stormwater system including construction of a new stormwater retention pond. Ultimately, to meet the needs of the proposed SR 167 Puyallup to SR 509 Project, the new two-lane bridge will be expanded to five lanes to meet anticipated northbound traffic needs. Planning for the ultimate project development does not prohibit consideration of alternatives to avoid, minimize or mitigate the undertaking's adverse effects on historic properties (36CFR800.1.c), however.
The Puyallup River/ Meridian Street Bridge was originally constructed in 1925 and later altered in 1951 and 1991 for safety and structural improvements. It is currently the longest, simply supported, steel riveted Warren through truss span built prior to 1940 remaining on the Washington State highway system. The bridge, which is also significant for its modified Warren truss configuration, has been determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). In order to ensure that we take into account the effects of this project on historic properties, WSDOT is initiating formal section 106 consultation pursuant to 36CFR800.2(c)(4).

Section 106 Consultation Process

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, requires federal agencies to seek out consulting parties to request their views and participate in consultation regarding a project's effect on historic properties. Consultation is an exchange of ideas, the process of seeking views on a project's effect on eligible historic properties and, if the effect is adverse, determining how this should be resolved. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has delegated section 106 authority to WSDOT under a Statewide Programmatic Agreement  (PA). To facilitate this process, WSDOT has partnered with the Governor's Office of Regulatory Assistance (ORA)  to create the Cultural Resources Project Consutlation (CRPC) website as a tool to promote public participation in the section 106 consultation process and improve transportation project delivery. 

CRPC sites provide easy access to project information and section 106 documentation. Visitors to these sites can share comments, submit questions or request to participate as a consulting party (click on the Provide Comments or Apply for Consulting Party links provided). Consulting party members gain access to additional protected content not accessible through the public site and are notified of steps as the project undergoes section 106 review . For more information on the section 106 consultation process, please visit the WSDOT Cultural Resources Compliance website .  



Puyallup River/ Meridian Street Bridge Design Elevation DrawingIn November 1924, Pierce County applied for federal aid to build what was called a “Steel Highway Bridge Crossing Puyallup River Between Secs. 21 & 22,T20N,R4E.”  Maury M. Caldwell designed the Puyallup River/ Meridian Street Bridge though his name does not appear on the design drawings submitted with the application. His name does appear on subsequent drawings of the bridge, however. Caldwell designed and/ or supervised construction of a number of other significant Washington bridges, including the Wishkah River and Fairfax/ O'Farrell/ Carbon River bridges. In February 1925 Pierce County awarded the construction contract to the Puget Sound Bridge & Dredging Company of Seattle for $77,200. In announcing the award, the Puyallup Valley Tribune noted that "The new road [Meridian Street] will considerably shorten by the northern route, the distance to Tacoma and will also bring the big [Puyallup Indian] Reservation district a mile closer to Puyallup" (2/7/1925). Construction was completed in time for the opening of the Western Washington State Fair on 21 September 1925 (Puyallup Valley Tribune 9/26/1925). In October, work commenced near the bridge on the pyramidal concrete and stone marker with bronze plaque commemorating the first road or Indian trail across the river at the site, the first school in the Puyallup Valley housed in the Indian War Blockhouse that stood "near the north approach", and the first telegraph line to reach the community (Puyallup Valley Tribune 7/26/1925, 10/17/1925).  Modifications were made to the original design in 1951 and 1991 slightly changing the appearance of the truss, particularly of the portal braces. The bridge originally carried a lane of traffic in each direction until 1971 when a concrete bridge was built immediately adjacent to the west to carry southbound traffic. The modern concrete bridge rises several feet above the roadway of the historic truss bridge, detracting considerably from the aesthetics of the older bridge. (View the complete Historic Property Inventory for more information.)


Project Timeline

A Design-Build team will come on board late 2012 to finalize the bridge design. Construction is planned to start summer 2013 and be completed by late 2014.

Visit the SR167 Puyallup River/ Meridian Street Bridge Project website for additional information.





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