Yakima County commissioners took the first step yesterday in replacing the Hudson Road Bridge by approving a request for bids on the project.
The bridge, located between Chute Road and North Outlook Road, is deteriorating, said Gary Ekstedt, a county engineer.
Ekstedt the culprit is water that over time has corroded the bridge's reinforcing steel. In addition, over several winters water has seeped into the concrete base. As the water freezes and thaws it further weakens the span.
With permission to move forward on seeking bids, Ekstedt said the county will begin getting the word out to contractors today. The bids are scheduled to be opened on Oct. 11.
Ekstedt said construction will need to take place over the winter after the irrigation watering season is concluded since the bridge spans an SVID drain and water delivery ditch. He envisions construction starting around Nov. 1 and for construction to be complete March 1 of next year.
The new bridge-which the county figures will cost between $300,000 to $400,000-will be made of concrete, but with sturdier pre-cast girder structures. Ekstedt added that rebar for the new bridge will be coated to help repel water.
Hudson Road bridge is the last of 20 bridges that Yakima County will replace with a low interest $5 million loan from the state's public works trust fund. Ekstedt said the loan will be paid back through existing county taxes.
Yakima County began the bridge replacement move in 2000. Lower Valley spans already replaced among the 20 new bridges include Van Belle Road, Sheller Road, Shane Road and Dekker Road.