Puyallup River Bridge Side-step

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is replacing the aging Puyallup River Bridge due to structural deficiencies. Built in 1925, the bridge is located in Puyallup, Washington where State Route 167 crosses the Puyallup River. To minimize traffic disruptions, plans called for the old bridge to be moved about 60 feet to the east for continued use while the new bridge is constructed in its place.

Robinson Noble designed the temporary, mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) abutment walls at both ends of the span and advised on jacking loads and settlement concerns prior to and during bridge placement.

MSE wall supporting north span of bridge (photo credit: Rick Powell)

MSE wall supporting north span of bridge
(photo credit: Rick Powell)

The bridge was successfully moved over the July 11, 2014 weekend (see time-lapse video below) and the MSE walls, constructed of a black reinforcing geogrid and compacted soil (known as a “wrapped” wall design), are now supporting the old bridge. The existing bridge re-opened ahead of schedule and in time for the Monday morning commute. The new bridge is expected to be complete in late 2015.

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