HistoricBridges.org Menu: HistoricBridges.org Menu:

Bach Steel - Experts at historic truss bridge restoration.

HistoricBridges.org: Bridge Browser

Sumner Bridge

Bridge Street Bridge

Sumner Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 24, 2014
View Photos
and Videos
View Maps
and Links

Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Bridge Street Over White River (Stuck River)
Sumner: Pierce County, Washington: United States
Structure Type
Metal 10 Panel Rivet-Connected Parker Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Concrete T-Beam, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1927 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
220 Feet (67.06 Meters)
Structure Length
360 Feet (109.73 Meters)
Roadway Width
20 Feet (6.1 Meters)
1 Main Span(s) and 4 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This Bridge's Future Is At Risk!

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

This historic bridge is slated for replacement and demolition in 2015-2016!

This bridge is an attractive example of a riveted Parker truss. It includes concrete t-beam approach spans at each end. The t-beam spans have concrete balustrade railing on the sidewalks, while the main truss span has riveted lattice railing. The approach spans retain decorative concrete lighting standards. The through truss provides an interesting and attractive gateway function for the road it serves. It also has apparently been decorated during the holiday season, something reportedly greatly enjoyed by the local community. Aside from altering the portal and sway bracing to increase vertical clearance for trucks, the bridge retains good historic integrity with no other major alterations.

Despite this bridge's beauty and function as a community gateway and holiday centerpiece, Sumner is bent on reducing this bridge to scrap metal and constructing a slab of concrete in its place. This represents a poor choice, since not only will this result in a loss of beauty and heritage, the bridge is in decent condition and would be easy to rehabilitate. Moreover, it is unclear what benefit a new bridge would provide. Certainly, wider bridges allow drivers to travel safely at faster speeds, and also helps drivers avoid collisions while texting, or engaging in other driving distractions. However, it is unclear why Sumner would want traffic driving faster through this area, since the bridge leads right into downtown Sumner.

What is worse, is Sumner is attempting to pass off the replacement bridge as something attractive and special which is absolutely nonsense. The proposed replacement bridge appears to be composed of standard pre-stressed concrete AASHTO girders on hammerhead piers and as such will look like an expressway overpass. Its barren concrete deck will offer no interesting geometry for users. The proposed superficial details such as ornamental railings and colored lighting on the bridge are elements that either already existed on the historic bridge, or could be added to the historic bridge. True bridge aesthetics are derived from a bridge that does not need to disguise or hide its ugliness but instead is itself beautiful such that superficial decorations are either not needed, or are simply complimentary to existing structural beauty.

A rendering of the replacement bridge is shown below.


Photos and Videos: Sumner Bridge

Available Photo Galleries and Videos

Click on a thumbnail or gallery name below to visit that particular photo gallery. If videos are available, click on a video name to view and/or download that particular video.

View Photo Gallery
Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. For the best visual immersion and full detail, or for use as a desktop background, this gallery presents the photos for this bridge in the original digital camera resolution.
View Photo Gallery
Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Gallery
A collection of overview and detail photos. View the photos for this bridge in a reduced size which is useful for mobile/smartphone users, modem (dial-up) users, or those who do not wish to wait for the longer download times of the full-size photos. Alternatively, view this photo gallery using a popup slideshow viewer (great for mobile users) by clicking the link below.
Browse Gallery With Popup Viewer

View Maps
and Links

Home Top


About - Contact

© Copyright 2003-2018, HistoricBridges.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer: HistoricBridges.org is a volunteer group of private citizens. HistoricBridges.org is NOT a government agency, does not represent or work with any governmental agencies, nor is it in any way associated with any government agency or any non-profit organization. While we strive for accuracy in our factual content, HistoricBridges.org offers no guarantee of accuracy. Information is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Information could include technical inaccuracies or errors of omission. Opinions and commentary are the opinions of the respective HistoricBridges.org member who made them and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including any outside photographers whose images may appear on the page in which the commentary appears. HistoricBridges.org does not bear any responsibility for any consequences resulting from the use of this or any other HistoricBridges.org information. Owners and users of bridges have the responsibility of correctly following all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, regardless of any HistoricBridges.org information.