MABTON - Restoration work on the State Route 241 Mabton bridge that spans the Yakima River were scheduled to start today (Tuesday).
Crews will reinforce the bridge with steel beams to increase the weight limit from 3 tons to 14 tons. The highway is expected to reopen to traffic by the end of August.
In May 2014, the weight limit was lowered from 14 tons to 3 tons to prevent further damage to a cracking span in the middle of the bridge. Despite efforts to enforce the restrictions by the Washington State Patrol’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Bureau, vehicles exceeding the 3-ton restriction continued to use the bridge.
In response, crews closed the bridge on July 16. WSDOT secured $350,000 in emergency funds to restore the 60-year-old bridge.
Currently, signs direct motorists around the closure using an 8-mile detour onto local county roads.