City of Puyallup announcement.
Puyallup, WA – After an eighteen-month closure, the Veterans Memorial Bridge (also known as the Milwaukee Bridge) in Puyallup will reopen on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, for motorists and pedestrians at 2 pm. The City of Puyallup is hosting a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 10 am to commemorate the bridge re-opening.
Closed in October 2020, the bridge has undergone extensive rehabilitation. The project has improved the overall performance of the bridge and has extended its anticipated service life by several decades. City Senior Civil Engineer Drew Young walks through some of the improvements to the bridge.
“Many of the improvements to the bridge will not be seen by the casual observer,” says Young. “But for people who drive across the bridge, they’ll notice a few things. For instance, we have a newly paved bridge deck with new safety barriers on each side. Drivers will also notice a more gradual approach coming on and off the bridge, which is thanks to the new box girders extensions that were installed on the north and south end.”
Pedestrians will notice improvements as well. The sidewalks have been widened, from 4 feet to 6 feet in width, providing a safer walking experience for pedestrians crossing the bridge. Wider sidewalk access to the Riverwalk Trail has been installed, allowing walkers, cyclists, and runners a better way to get on and off the trail.
Starting at 2 pm on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, the bridge will officially reopen to vehicles. Earlier in the day, the City will host a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to commemorate the bridge reopening. The public is invited to join the City as we celebrate this project’s successful completion.
Mayor Dean Johnson comments on the bridge reopening. “As the new Mayor of Puyallup, I am personally excited to see this project completed,” says Johnson. “Our residents have been patiently waiting a long time to see the bridge reopen. Well, the wait is finally over. Pretty soon residents can drive, walk, bike, or run across this beautiful bridge once again. Bridges serve as a critical connection point in a community by helping people get from one point to another. But they also serve as a symbol for how we can connect as people. Reopening this bridge, in my mind, is a great example of how we can bridge the gap that divides us and re-connect as a growing, inclusive community for all.”
The Veterans Memorial Bridge is a cast-in-place concrete structure that spans across the Puyallup River from 5th St NE to Milwaukee Ave E. The bridge was built in 1962. During that fifty-year timeframe, the bridge had slowly deteriorated in structural health. In 2013 a report was issued, within which the bridge was rated as “Structurally Deficient.” It was projected that the bridge would not last more than ten years. The City determined that a major rehabilitation was needed. In 2016, the City began the design phase process of the project. In October 2020, the bridge was closed, and construction began on rehabilitating the bridge.
A portion of the funding for the Veterans Memorial Bridge Rehabilitation Project comes from a grant through the Federal Highway Administration Bridge Replacement Advisory Council (BRAC). The City extends thanks and gratitude to the Federal Highway Administration for their generous grant towards this project.