Bad News For Those Who Don’t Want the Manette Bridge to Change

While the state heard comments from Bremertonians, mostly those from Manette, about the future of the city’s signature bridge, one group pointed to the Murray Morgan bridge in Tacoma. Local activists had managed to save the bridge from the demolition the state planned. The state had agreed to hand the span over to the city, along with millions to help fix it.

Today, the state closed the bridge, a surprise to the Tacoma City Council. The News Tribune reports:

The state Department of Transportation closed the 94-year-old Murray Morgan Bridge today, citing “life safety concerns.”

The news led City Council members to angrily question new transportation Secretary Paula Hammond about the state’s apparent failure to maintain the iconic span. Council members also grilled Hammond about the consequences the closure would have on emergency response to the Tideflats.

State officials had been inspecting the bridge with greater scrutiny following the collapse of an interstate bridge in Minneapolis this summer. The inspection showed corroded and crumbling steel to such an extent that officials decided to immediately close the bridge to all traffic, including emergency vehicles.

“We can’t let them drive across the bridge right now knowing what we know,” Hammond said.

According to the survey the state did, most people do want to see the Manette replaced, so a similar movement to the Murray Morgan effort is not likely to fare as well as that one did. And if what happened today represents “faring well,” then who would consider it worth it.

Most in the survey did prefer making the Manette bridge something other than its neighbor, the Warren Avenue bridge. State Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, suggested to state Department of Transportation officials putting up the existing steel on the new bridge as a facade. She said she hasn’t heard from DOT yet.

5 thoughts on “Bad News For Those Who Don’t Want the Manette Bridge to Change

  1. The bottom line has to be safety. If the Manette bridge is unsafe, close it and build another bridge for the least amount of money.
    …in my opinion…

  2. If local government can spend millions of dollars tearing up roads to install new culverts — all in the name of saving salmon — then they can afford to construct a safe, visually-appealing bridge for our species, the human race.

  3. Mike…I have never seen a bridge that did not have its own charm…and was visually appealing.

    The unattractive bridges are those collapsed or under water … really ugly bridges that failed…especially if someone was on them when they failed.

    Why should taxpayers pay more for a ‘visually appealing’ bridge (whatever that is) for the human race?

    Spending more for the bridge won’t make you feel any better about the money spent on construction costs for the salmon … we’ll only have more taxes to pay…more salmon to eat..

  4. I understand and agree the Manette bridge needs replacement as a traffic thoroughfair, however an opportunity for all concerned exists but isn’t even being discussed, let alone seriously considered. Given that this span is a historic local structure and signature piece, a new span could be placed just north of the old one with the original retained as a pedestrian-only overpass/overwater park. The old span could handle walking traffic for years to come with little or no modification while saving millions on the new construction by paring off the addition of bike/walking lanes. Unfortunately, historic preservation will never have a place under an ex-mayor from Bellevue, a town with barely more history than my kids. Cary, new is not always better.

  5. Retaining the old bridge for pedestrian traffic has been discussed here and discarded.
    Apparently the bridge is not safe enough to keep for any purpose.
    Sharon O’Hara

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