Taylor Road bridge delayed

Taylor Road residents, businesses and students will be without their bridge for three more weeks because of a few design changes.

The bridge — a converted railroad box car — is supposed to arrive March 4-5 and be open for traffic March 15, according to county officials.

Original designs called for pilings to be driven 30 feet into the ground. Engineers later realized they had to go down an additional 30 feet, adding 10 days to the construction process.

Because the road has a history of collapsing when Wildcat Creek runs high, officials decided to prepare for possible future failures if the bridge doesn’t work out.

“The decision was made to take advantage of the permits we have to build footings capable of supporting a concrete arch bridge,” said Doug Bear, a spokesman for the county Department of Public Works. “This will increase our options if we have to go through this all again.”

Each day means that Holly Ridge Center, which provides services to disabled youths and adults, still operates on a single phone line from a temporary facility instead of its building at the end of Taylor Road.

Holly Ridge Director Roxanne Bryson said many families are having a difficult time getting the help they need.

“We’re hard to get ahold of,” Bryson said. “And it’s frustrating for community members wanting to get service and they’re running into a dead end.”

The road washed out during heavy rainstorms in early January, after a clogged culvert sent thousands of gallons of water over the roadway. Holly Ridge Center and nearby Bremerton Seventh-day Adventist Church have been closed since, and will be until the road is re-opened.

“The sooner we can get back in,” Bryson said, “the sooner we can be there for the families who can’t get ahold of us.”

Officials originally estimated that installing a new bridge would take four to eight weeks.

“We’re still within the eight-week range we foresaw,” Bear said.

The prefabricated bridge is ready for shipment from Northern California. Bear said it could be delivered within two days of the county requesting it.

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