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Load restrictions lifted on 3 SR 107 bridges

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Date:  Monday, September 10, 2012

Contact: Claudia Bingham Baker, 360-357-2789 (Tumwater)

MONTESANO – The Washington State Department of Transportation today lifted permitted truck-load restrictions on three bridges just beyond Montesano on State Route 107.

Trucks carrying loads up to 22,500 pounds per axle now are permitted to cross the SR 107 Chehalis River Bridge and two unnamed slough bridges.

Load restrictions had prohibited many truckers from using SR 107 between Montesano and Artic, eliminating a convenient connection between State Route 12 and US 101. Amidst concerns that load restrictions hinder commerce, WSDOT staff met earlier this year with local elected officials and trucking representatives to identify key freight routes and address bridge deficiencies.

Work on the three SR 107 bridges began soon after those meetings. All three bridges were built in the mid-1950s and are supported with treated timber beams and components. WSDOT bridge engineers determined that replacing some key timber components with galvanized steel would provide the strength necessary to lift the load restrictions.

“These repairs will buy some time, and they will open the bridges to truckers for the next few years,” said Kevin Dayton, WSDOT Olympic Region administrator. “WSDOT bridge crews hustled to advance the bridge repairs after understanding the importance of them to local traffic.”

In June, WSDOT lifted load restrictions from the US 12 Wishkah River Bridge, following strength tests of the bridge’s concrete. Bridges on US 101 and SR 105 also were identified as needing repairs or replacement before load restrictions can be lifted. The repairs and bridge replacement projects will move forward as resources allow.

To learn more about WSDOT maintenance or construction activities that could affect traffic, please visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Regions/Olympic/Construction/.

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