Fearing failure, state closes bridge to Mabton - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Fearing failure, state closes bridge to Mabton

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MABTON, Wash. (AP) - State highway officials have temporarily closed a bridge that provides a prime connection to the small south-central Washington town of Mabton.

The State Route 241 bridge was closed Wednesday because engineers fear "a catastrophic failure" if weight restrictions aren't followed.

The Yakima Herald-Republic (http://is.gd/1WHQa9 ) reports that the 60-year-old bridge has been on the state's "structurally deficient" list for years.

Officials imposed a 14-ton weight limit in 2003, and have been waiting for money to replace it. In May, officials lowered that weight restriction to 3 tons after engineers found new cracks in the middle section.

Crews will begin work on the bridge next month and plan to reopen it before the end of summer.

Drivers are being directed to use detours.

Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com

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