Broadway Bridge in poor shape
EVERETT — The century-old Broadway Bridge may truly be in the last months of its life as its deteriorating condition caused the city to place more weight limits prohibiting large vehicles from crossing the bridge.
The limit came after a recent structural inspection by Snohomish County.
City officials have wanted to replace the bridge for years, but negotiation delays and funding delays pushed the replacement out to now start in 2015.
The city is going out for construction bids on the project this week.
According to the most recent inspection report, Broadway Bridge’s sufficiency rating has dropped to a two out of a possible 100. In 2012, the bridge was rated at a six.
“No other bridges in Everett have that low of a rating,” city spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke said.
Other bridges in Everett rank much higher, some in the 80s and 90s and some in the 30s.
The drop from a six to a two resulted from further deterioration in certain non-structural parts of the bridge.
Key structural elements of the bridge are in about the same condition as they were in 2012. According to a recommendation by an outside engineering firm, these non-structural elements are 100 percent corroded.
“We are trying to be prudent for the last few months of its life here,” city engineer Ryan Sass said. “Even though the key areas look about the same, it was probably a good idea to expand the weight restriction to all lanes.”
This will help ensure that the bridge remains functional until the replacement project begins this fall and a full closure is enacted next year.
“We want to ease it through its last few months,” Sass said.
No vehicles weighing more than 7 tons for single-unit trucks and buses, 9 tons for semi-trucks or 11 tons for tandem-trailer trucks are allowed on the bridge.
Large vehicles, including buses and semis, can follow detour signs around the bridge. The designated truck route sends drivers down Hewitt Avenue to Cedar Street to Everett Avenue around the bridge.
Community Transit has rerouted its 201 and 202 routes. Rather than go over the bridge, they will go from Cedar Street from Everett Station to Everett Avenue and back to Broadway.
A new pair of stops has been added for these lines at Cedar Street and Hewitt Avenue. The stop at Broadway and Lowell has been eliminated.
Community Transit spokesman Martin Munguia said the added stop allows the line to serve an area that was previously unable to easily access the bus.
Everett School District buses do not stop on that portion of the road, so they simply rerouted buses that crossed the bridge around it. Students will not see any of their bus stops change, district spokeswoman Mary Waggoner said.
Everett Transit rerouted all of their regular buses off of the Broadway Bridge in 2012 when the bridge replacement was supposed to start construction. Some paratransit buses will take the detour.
Sound Transit is unaffected.