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Century-old Alvord T. Bridge near Kent set to close June 28

The Alvord T Bridge, which crosses the Green River, has one of the lowest bridge sufficiency ratings among open bridges in Washington. - Courtesy photo/King County
The Alvord T Bridge, which crosses the Green River, has one of the lowest bridge sufficiency ratings among open bridges in Washington.
— image credit: Courtesy photo/King County

The Alvord T. Bridge – one of the most deficient bridges in the state of Washington -will be permanently closed to traffic on June 28.

The bridge, originally built in 1914, spans the Green River on 78th Avenue South at the southern city limits of Kent. The bridge serves an industrial and agricultural area, carries about 2,500 vehicles a day and has long been one of the county's most deficient and seismically vulnerable structures.

Despite ongoing care and maintenance, the bridge has steadily deteriorated over the years. The structure has low overhead clearance, narrow driving lanes, rotting timber approach supports and poor sight distance.

In 1996 the county performed extensive repairs knowing that full replacement or closure would become necessary in future years. More recent studies have confirmed continued deterioration and severely rusted supports. The structure is also prone to fractures triggering weigh limits that prohibit heavy vehicle loads from crossing the bridge.

In 2008, King County applied for federal bridge replacement funds but the application was denied due to the high cost of replacement, low traffic volumes, and the existence of three alternate river crossings nearby. However, the county did receive a grant for demolition of the old bridge.

With the decision now made to close the bridge, the county will continue to work with neighboring cities, emergency responders and school districts to minimize post-closure impacts.

The closure is not expected to significantly impact traffic and freight movement in areas surrounding the bridge. And if necessary, the county will work with Kent, Auburn and the Washington State Department of Transportation to adjust signal timing to improve the flow of traffic at nearby intersections.

The county will also reach out to local businesses to provide assistance in communicating with customers about the upcoming closure.

Learn more at www.kingcounty.gov/AlvordTBridge.

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