Dayton Street Bridge construction pushed back

Dayton Street Bridge construction pushed back
KENNEWICK, Wash. – A bridge in was set for a rebuild this summer, but that's been pushed back -- again.

The bridge is too dangerous to hold big rigs, so large fire trucks haven't been able to use it for years.
The bridge is so small, you might not even know you're driving over it. But the almost 50 year old piece of concrete can't support the weight of Kennewick's biggest fire truck.

For years now, the department has had to find other ways around the Dayton Street Bridge. That has some neighbors worried about their safety.

"If they can't get here in a certain amount of time, then something could happen. Somebody could die, businesses could be gone," says Alyssa Tolison.

She manages a tattoo parlor near the Dayton Street Bridge. The bridge is over an irrigation canal. Kennewick thought it had the money to fix the bridge two-years ago, but now we've learned a rebuild is still at least another year away.

“The construction might affect our business traffic flow. It'll be a lot different than what we're used to seeing," Alyssa added.

Still, that comes as a secondary problem to the fire department. KFD has been working around it for years. But the bridge is still a prime emergency route near KGH, the police station, and the fire station on Auburn.

"Not being able to drive over that bridge is a consideration, but it's one of many considerations that are being taken as the operator of any piece of apparatus chooses to take their route to a scene," says Eric Nilson, a firefighter with KFD.

In the five years since restrictions were put on the bridge, emergencies near that spot haven't required the use of their biggest truck. But the bridge needs to be replaced before that luck runs out.

“It would be better if they could get as fast as possible," Alyssa says.

Construction is now scheduled to begin next summer as soon as Kennewick High school lets out for summer. The total cost for the project is just over half-a-million dollars. 80 percent of that will be paid for by a federal grant.