By Mina Williams Herald writer
BRIER — Funding the reconstruction of the Scriber Creek Pedestrian Bridge in Brier is included in the current state capital budget.
The $800,000 item will assist in paying for rebuilding the structure, damaged in the December 2007 flood. Bridge pilings washed out of the stream bed, compromising the bridge and an attached sewer line, according to Nicole Gaudette, city planner.
Emergency stabilizing work was done by the city. That effort included the construction of a wood and rock wall, which has helped, but during winter storms when the creek’s flow increases there is still erosion. Now the temporary fix is starting to be damaged, Gaudette said.
The state’s updated capital budget, currently moving toward the governor’s desk, “would go a long way in helping repair a significant piece of the infrastructure in the growing community of Brier,” according to state Rep. Derek Stanford of the 1st District, which includes Brier.
The state’s capital budget, also known as the construction budget, is primarily funded by the sale of bonds and does not affect the potential budget shortfall of the state’s biennial operating budget.
The proposed bridge replacement project includes removing the rock wall, building new bridge abutments outside of the floodplain, replacing the aging bridge deck and sewer pipe, and restoring the stream bed.
The timeline for the project, should the state’s budget become final, stretches into the summer of 2013, Gaudette said.
The bridge is located in the 21800 block of Oak Way on the south and the 21700 block of 21st Avenue West on the north side.
The new bridge is planned to be the same size as the original and in the same location.
Construction for the new bridge would be done within the stream buffer. Bridge abutments would be positioned on solid ground, rather than on the edge of the stream as they are now.
The streambed would be restored. It was compromised by the non-native rock wall built to prevent erosion, which retains heat and reduces the oxygen level of the salmon-bearing stream.
Additionally, the sewer line that runs underneath the bridge would be upgraded and made safer to reduce chances of breaks during a major flood, which could lead to sewer spillage into the creek.