75 year-old bridge near Cle Elum gets a new deck

By guest blogger Mike Westbay

(The Bristol Fill bridge is also known locally as the Taylor Bridge.)

What happens when we can see daylight through the holes in a bridge deck built in 1937? We close the bridge and hire a contractor to rip up the deck and put down a new one.

Concrete and steel gets ripped up in preparation for a
new bridge deck on SR 10 near Cle Elum.
On May 24, we closed scenic State Route 10 near Cle Elum to rip up the old Bristol Fill Bridge deck that has served drivers between Cle Elum and Ellensburg for some 75 years. From the 1930’s to the 1960’s, SR 10 was the main highway between Ellensburg and Cle Elum, then known as US 10 Sunset Highway.

Since a nearby section of I-90 was completed in 1967, SR 10 has become a quiet, scenic route enjoyed mostly by locals and outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

Our bridge inspectors have monitored the deteriorating bridge deck conditions for years.  In the last five to 10 years, the bridge deck deteriorated significantly, requiring constant structural safety monitoring and frequent repairs.  The deteriorated condition required the entire length of the bridge deck to be replaced.

Crews have been patching holes in the SR 10 bridge deck
for a decade.
Only local traffic will be allowed on SR 10 until sometime in October, when the project is scheduled to be completed. Local traffic (residents, farmers, rafters, anglers, bicyclists, and hikers) can use SR 10 east and west of the bridge, but through traffic will need to detour on SR 970 and US 97 or take Interstate 90. The length of the detour on SR 970 and US 97 is about 20 miles and the length of the detour on I-90 is about 21 miles.

For more history on SR 10 and I-90 visit: I-90 – Snoqualmie Pass East – History or get the book, “Snoqualmie Pass from Indian Trail to Interstate,” by Yvonne Prater.