Courtesy of WSDOT
Currently located in Puyallup, Washington, this 1925 24-foot-wide, 371-foot-long riveted steel Warren through-truss, weighing 379 tons, awaits a new home while WSDOT evaluates proposals to relocate and preserve the historic structure.
Courtesy of WSDOT Currently located in Puyallup, Washington, this 1925 24-foot-wide, 371-foot-long riveted steel Warren through-truss, weighing 379 tons, awaits a new home while WSDOT evaluates proposals to relocate and preserve the historic structure.

A piece of local history may soon be on the move. The historic State Route 167 Puyallup River/Meridian Street Bridge is searching for a new owner, which may bit a bit of a hard sell. It is, after all, an entire bridge.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) sent out a press release requesting proposals to relocate and reuse the bridge, built in 1925.
Claudia Bingham Baker, WSDOT Spokesperson, said a memorandum to move the bridge while preserving it signed with the Washington State Department of Agricultural Historic Preservation necessitated the request for proposals.
“That included re-locating the bridge,” she said. “The reason we had to move it is because we had to build our new bridge. The reason it needs to be removed now is because that property is set to be used for another construction project.”
Baker said the person or entity that takes on ownership of the bridge will receive up to $1 million to help with relocation costs.
“If we have a successful proposer [we can give] up to $1 million dollars we would otherwise spend demolishing the bridge,” she said. “I say “up to” because we will require them to submit a plan to move the bridge essentially and we’re assuming for 99.9 percent of people that would mean they would have to disassemble the bridge and re-assemble at a new location as it is big and impractical to move in its entirety.”
The department would give $100,000 to fund any owner’s beginning activities to move or dismantle the bridge, and as they meet certain milestones in the contract they can submit invoices for expenses. WSDOT will reimburse up the $1 million dollars that an engineer estimated would be cost to demolish the bridge.
If no proposal is forthcoming by June of 2019, WSDOT will demolish the bridge anyway.
“As for how much the bridge is worth, it’s in the eyes of the beholder,” Baker said. “I don’t know how much to put for a monetary value for historic structures. Some may think it’s worth way more and some may not think it’s worth that. We’ve received feedback in both directions on social media.”
Baker said the bridge didn’t meet requirements for infrastructure anymore.
 “It’s given us almost 90 years of usefulness out of it and the only reason we replace it is because it no longer met the needs for a modern travel public load restrictive,” she said. “[It’s] narrow, and has lot of corrosion and rust, and it basically came to its useful life’s end.”
An ideal solution for WSDOT would be for a third party to preserve the bridge.
"We don’t have another use for the bridge at this point, so if a third party doesn’t enter into an agreement we will demolish the bridge to finish making State Route 167 to extend to the highway, a new highway that will go through Puyallup and extend to I-5 in the Fife Highway that’s coming along where the property where the bridge is sitting now. We hope we are successful we’ve gone through a lot of effort to try and preserve this bridge and find someone to recognize this importance and history of importance and take on the responsibility of preserving it.”

Baker said WDSOT has had 32 proposals registered on the electronic vendor site. The deadline for getting proposals in is Thursday, August 9, 2018.

Those submitting proposals should:
•    Prepare and submit a proposal following the RFP instructions using the WEBS link. Proposals are due by 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9.
•    Maintain the bridge and the features that give it historical significance.
•    Assume all future legal and financial responsibility for the structure.
•    Remove the structure from state right of way by June 30, 2019.