The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

Klickitat bridge corrosion forces closure, detour

Hear's Goldendale


It’s summer! The snow is officially off the Simcoes, so all the serious gardeners can get busy. After many years of gardening, we are finding out that it is a must to have compost and manure or fertilizer in the garden.

Ron Falter, from Dandy Valley Farms will be the guest speaker at this Thursday’s Community Chamber Forum Luncheon at Gee’s Family Restaurant at noon. He can give you many tips on gardening. You can buy your lunch or a cup of coffee while listening to this week’s speaker.   

The weather was perfect for last weekend’s Bluegrass Festival in Goldendale. On Saturday afternoon there were at least 200 people in attendance, with more coming later in the day. The bands are professional, and in fact one of the band members was a retired surgeon from Hood River. And when I heard his name I realized he had done a surgery on me once. I wonder if he was singing or picking a banjo while operating on me.

A weight restriction of three tons (6,000 lbs.) has been in place since May 31, on one of the twin bridges on SR142 at milepost 17.55, when routine bridge inspections revealed severe corrosion on the underside of the 58-year-old bridge deck. Under this restriction, the bridge can only carry passenger vehicles and light trucks.

In early July, the Washington State Department of Transportation will place a portable military bridge over the State Route 142 Klickitat River Bridge to restore connectivity between Lyle and Goldendale.

The portable bridge will lift weight restrictions and the bridge will only be a temporary solution.

WSDOT crews will assemble and place the portable bridge, called a “Bailey bridge,” on top of the existing structure. The bridge will be closed around the clock for up to a week during assembly, which is expected to be complete in mid-July.

Drivers should use SR14 and US97 to detour around the closure.

The three ton weight restriction remains until the Bailey bridge is in place. Once open, the bridge will support single-lane traffic up to 105,000 GVW-the largest legal loads. There will also be slower speed limits. Drivers can stay informed on traffic impacts by visiting WSDOT’s travel alert web page.

To see photo’s of the concrete and rebar corrosion as well as a photo of the military bridge, go to

The Bailey bridge was designed by a British engineer in the 1940’s during the war, for crossing rivers where there was no bridge.

The corroded twin bridge used to be a timber truss bridge prior to 1954 on the once known Lyle/Goldendale Road and was owned by Klickitat County. The new bridge was built in 1954 while Klickitat County still had ownership, but the road was transferred to Washington State in the mid 1960’s.

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