Replacement Planned For Decaying Sylvester Bridge; Expect “Lengthy Closure”

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According to the City of Normandy Park’s July/August “City Scene” newsletter, engineers at the City, County, and State levels have decided that a reconstruction project is required for the 80-year old Sylvester Bridge, which is also used as an access road to parts of Burien, like Three Tree Point.

Wrought with many problems, including cracked columns and girders, weathered and worn rails and deck, and an antiquated design, experts say that reconditioning does not appear to be the best option for service to the bridge.

The city says that construction will cost $2.8 million, and is slated to begin this summer in Feb. 2011.

According to City Manager Doug Schulze:

“We anticipate the design completion in November 2010 and start of construction in February 2011.

The dates and length of bridge closure will be determined after bid award, which is anticipated to occur in December or January.

At this point, these are estimated dates, but we will have a better idea of project timelines in September.”

Built during the depression era, Sylvester Bridge has spanned Fox Creek for eight decades, and is one of a handful of large concrete bridges built in this area during the twenties and thirties. The existing Sylvester Bridge replaced a timber trestle in the same location, which served the area through the turn of the twentieth century. The city says that the new bridge is planned to be a full span bridge, meaning that there will be no supporting columns like the existing bridge has, which are not designed to carry earthquake forces.

The city also adds:

“Design work on the replacement bridge is currently underway. The design of the new bridge is being planned to look somewhat similar to the existing bridge with concrete rails possibly as depicted above.

Construction is planned for the Spring and Summer of 2010.

Unfortunately a lengthy closure will be necessary for removal of the old bridge and construction of its replacement. Detours will be developed by the Cities of Normandy Park and Burien.

More details on closure dates and detours will be published in the coming months.”

For more information, residents are asked to contact the City of Normandy Park Public Works Department at 206-248-8269.

Scott Schaefer dropped by the bridge Monday afternoon and shot this Sound Slideshow:

Click to Play
Click to Play Scott Schaefer’s Sound Slideshow

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One Response to “Replacement Planned For Decaying Sylvester Bridge; Expect “Lengthy Closure””
  1. Coverofnight says:

    Had a buddy in high school who would routinely drive two wheels of his Rambler station wagon on the ramped sidewalk of that bridge……the crazy fool! ‘Course, back in the ’70’s, there weren’t as many cops and traffic around. Those were the good old days……

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