July 12, 1997 in Washington Voices

Bridge Footings To Be Reinforced

By The Spokesman-Review
 

State transportation workers plan to reinforce footings on a bridge along state Highway 27 south of Rockford.

The footings were exposed by heavy flooding earlier this year, and the work will help protect them from future flooding, said James Prudente, state Department of Transportation regional environmental manager.

Crews could begin replacing bedding around the bridge’s concrete footers later this summer. The project will take less than a week to complete and should not disrupt traffic, Prudente said.

Prudente said the bridge is structurally sound, but if allowed to continue to slam against the unprotected footings, flood waters could eventually cripple the structure.

“With two straight flooding years there has been a lot of erosion around bridge footings,” Prudente said.

State transportation officials will accept comments on the bridge project until Tuesday. The project is not expected to have a significant environmental impact, but a public comment period is required by the State Environmental Policy Act, Prudente said.

New Year’s Day flooding in and around Rockford washed away bedding around the footings, and heavily damaged businesses and some homes. The deluge, the worst in 35 years, left several feet of water standing in the tiny farming community 15 miles south of the Spokane Valley.

Officials estimated at one point during the New Year’s Day flooding that normally placid Rock Creek rose at the rate of more than one foot every five minutes. Melting snow, softened by unseasonably warm temperatures, fed the stream, which runs at a trickle most of the year.

, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Have your say Comments about the bridge repair work should be sent by Tuesday to James Prudente, regional environmental manager, Washington state Department of Transportation, 2714 N. Mayfair, Spokane, WA 99207-2090.

This sidebar appeared with the story: Have your say Comments about the bridge repair work should be sent by Tuesday to James Prudente, regional environmental manager, Washington state Department of Transportation, 2714 N. Mayfair, Spokane, WA 99207-2090.


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