Arden Bridge to be replaced

The Stevens County Commissioners recently secured a $650,000 state grant for replacement of the Arden Bridge. The grant was obtained from the Washington State County Road Administration Board on July 28 from the board’s Rural Arterial Trust Account. The account is a portion of the state fuel tax that is set aside for emergency projects.The grant money will be used to fund replacement of the existing structure, which suffered an undermining of its foundation from flood waters earlier this spring.To ensure public safety and prevent a bridge collapse, the commissioners had declared an emergency closure of the bridge earlier this year. The bridge will remain closed until the new structure is built to replace it. Preliminary engineering for this structure has already been initiated by county Public Works staff. It is anticipated that the bridge replacement will take three to six months to complete. Stevens County Public Works Director Jim Whitbread said construction will be fast-tracked and the new bridge will be open by fall 2012, barring any unanticipated difficulties.“During the construction period, a comprehensive detour will be maintained,” said Whitbread. “Modern signage and clear directions will aid motorists in negotiating the detour efficiently and safely. “ If you have specific questions about the project please contact Jim Whitbread, County Engineer at 684-4548.