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Puyallup Avenue Bridge

Puyallup River Bridge

Puyallup Avenue Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 24, 2014

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and Videos
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Key Facts

Location
Tacoma: Pierce County, Washington: United States
Structure Type
Metal 14 Panel Rivet-Connected Pennsylvania Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal 10 Panel Rivet-Connected Baltimore Through Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1927 By Builder/Contractor: Grant Smith and Company of Seattle, Washington and Engineer/Design: Washington Department of Highways

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
1973
Main Span Length
252 Feet (77 Meters)
Structure Length
2,833 Feet (864 Meters)
Roadway Width
36 Feet (10.97 Meters)
Spans
5 Main Span(s) and 32 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
85011000000000

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

This bridge's future is at risk!

Bridge Status: As of 2019, this historic bridge is slated for demolition and replacement! Project may be phased over years, replacing different spans.

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

View Historic Structure Reports For This Bridge

This bridge is a long viaduct style bridge that carries the road over a variety of obstructions including roads, railroad lines, and the Puyallup River. Short spans are accomodated by concrete t-beam spans with concrete balustrade railings, while longer spans feature metal through truss spans with metal railings. There are three places, not contiguous, where truss spans occur. There is one heavilly skewed Baltimore truss span near the west end of the bridge, a three span skewed Pennsylvania through truss span over the Puyallup River, and finally, toward the eastern end of the bridge, a non-skewed Warren through truss span.

The three middle (river) truss spans are the most unique and historically significant portion of the bridge because of their unusual design. Heavily skewed, these spans accomodate the two panel skew by interrupting the visual arch-like curve of the polygonal top chord, and placing one extra panel at one end of each truss with a top chord that runs nearly horizontally. This, along with the uncommon use of vertical end posts gives the spans an unusual shape that makes these spans stand out among Washington State's collection of metal truss bridges.

The end truss spans have suffered from substantial damage from overwheight trucks crashing into them. The middle spans are in contrast in good condition, since the end truss spans have done the job of destroying the trucks before they could reach the middle spans.

This unique bridge is slated for demolition and replacement. The project will be a multi-stage project. The first stage will be to replace the western truss span and adjacent t-beam spans. It is unfortunate to see this bridge not being preserved. At the very least, one of the middle spans should be relocated and preserved, perhaps for pedestrian use, or perhaps on a quieter road.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Puyallup Avenue Bridge

 
View Photo Gallery
Bridge Photo-Documentation
Original / Full Size Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Bridge Photo-Documentation
Mobile Optimized Photos
A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Crossing The Bridge, Eastbound
Original / Full Size Photos
A series of photos taken with a high resolution, wide angle GoPro camera showing the experiance of driving over the bridge. This gallery offers photos in the highest available resolution and file size in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Photo Gallery
Crossing The Bridge, Eastbound
Mobile Optimized Photos
A series of photos taken with a high resolution, wide angle GoPro camera showing the experiance of driving over the bridge. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer
View Video
CarCam: Westbound Crossing
Full Motion Video
Note: The downloadable high quality version of this video (available on the video page) is well worth the download since it offers excellent 1080 HD detail and is vastly more impressive than the compressed streaming video. Streaming video of the bridge. Also includes a higher quality downloadable video for greater clarity or offline viewing.

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Maps and Links: Puyallup Avenue Bridge

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