Work to begin this month leading to rustic bridge’s replacement

Clallam County will close the 91-year-old Elwha River bridge at the end of the month to drill through its deck and take soil samples, an early step toward replacing the span.

The bridge will be closed for 1½ days between Oct. 25 and Oct. 29, said Ross Tyler, associate engineer.

The span will be closed during daylight hours and be reopened at night.

The one-lane bridge was considered a two-lane structure when it was opened in 1913, Tyler said.

“For its age, I guess it’s held up remarkably well,” he said.

Replacement will come in 2006.

Clallam County could have demolished the bridge earlier, Tyler said, but the public wanted it maintained.

Tyler said it carries between 600 and 800 vehicles a day, many of them using Elwha River Road as an alternative to state Highway 112.

Rustic span

The rustic span is known as an especially scenic spot, which is one reason why a citizens committee is advising the county on the new span’s design.

“We want to build something that fits the area,” Tyler said.

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