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 .
In 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.)
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.