It seems like every time my family takes the Tacoma Avenue South Bridge, we wait for a traffic light. And if dear husband is in the car he starts griping about the bridge and how he hates it. He is convinced that it will go down in an earthquake. It’s to the point where even if he isn’t in the car, dear daughter and I will look at each other and say “I hate this bridge!”, but then we laugh.
It turns out dear husband is right (I hate when that happens!). According to a 5/25/13 article in the News Tribune, the Tacoma Avenue South over the NPRR (Northern Pacific Railroad) and South Tacoma Way has a sufficiency rating of 7. A rating of 100 means an entirely sufficient bridge, so 7 is really bad. In fact there is only one bridge in Pierce County that is worse and it is the SR 167 over the Puyallup River with a rating of 2. The Tacoma Avenue Bridge has two lanes and was constructed in 1930. It has a daily of over 10,000 vehicles.
Chris Larson, the city of Tacoma’s engineering division manager for public works, said the Tacoma Avenue South bridge will be closed for about 15 months starting in October 2014. The project is expected to cost $11.5 million, of which $11.2 million will come from state and federal grants.