WSDOT finds potential owner for free, 86-year-old bridge

WSDOT is hopeful they've found a new owner for the State Route 508 South Fork Newaukum River Bridge. The bridge is eligible for historic listing. WSDOT photo

LEWIS COUNTY, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Transportation may have found an ideal owner for a historic, 86-year-old bridge.

In November 2016, WSDOT said the State Route 508 South Fork Newaukum River Bridge is eligible for historic listing. But, the National Historic Preservation Act requires WSDOT to market the bridge to find it a new home.

WSDOT planned to give the bridge away for free, but the new owner would need to cover the costs of moving, installing and maintaining the structure.

“Sure, at a rusty 86 years old, the bridge is past its prime, but we like to think it’s full of character and charm,” WSDOT said in a blog post.

The South Fork Newaukum River Bridge is a pony truss bridge. These types of bridges are becoming relatively rare.

Officials said the bridge is heavily covered in rust. It was closed in 2015 because it could no longer support heavy loads.

WSDOT was hoping someone would repurpose the bridge for a golf course, a hiking trail, or as garden art.

On Wednesday, WSDOT announced on their block they may have found a new owner for the bridge.

“We received interest from several folks and organizations and ended up with one person who understands what it’ll take to own the structure,” they said on the blog.

WSDOT is working with the interested individual on how the bridge will be used to preserve its historic nature.

The person plans to keep the bridge in Washington, WSDOT said.

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