YAKIMA County Commissioners yesterday approved a contract to replace the bridge across the Yakima River on North Meyers Road, near Zillah.
The bridge will be completely replaced at a cost of about $9.25 million. The county will pick up 20 percent of the total cost, while the Federal Highway Administration will kick in 80 percent.
The bridge has been closed since floods damaged it last month.
According to Vern Redifer at Yakima County Public Services, work on the bridge is scheduled to begin April 18 and will take until the end of 2017.
The new bridge will measure 12 feet wider than the current one at 40 feet. It will be 620 feet long, compared to the current 541 feet.
Cascade Bridge, out of Vancouver, will do the work. Its previous projects include a Wapato bridge, Pioneer Way Bridge and Valley Mall Boulevard project in 2001.
The new bridge will replace one built in 1947 that was classified as “structurally deficient.” The bridge was slated for replacement before a hole formed in its deck during the morning commute on Feb. 19.
The bridge was closed immediately due to the danger to traffic, and has been closed since.
A portion of the bridge has already been demolished to protect a gas line that runs along the bridge. The washout under the bridge loosened a slab enough to threaten the line.
The pipeline will be rerouted under the river by Cascade Natural Gas.