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Taylor Road bridge scheduled to arrive Tuesday

Delivery of a new Taylor Road bridge has been delayed a week, but officials insist it will be open for traffic as scheduled.

The new bridge — made of converted railroad boxcar — is expected to be delivered Tuesday, March 12, and open to traffic Friday, March 15, county Department of Public Works spokesman Doug Bear said.

Taylor Road collapsed Jan. 7 during a heavy rainstorm. Wildcat Creek overwhelmed a culvert beneath the road and washed out the two-lane road.

With their only link to the rest of Kitsap County destroyed in a matter of minutes, Taylor Road residents have had to adjust to life without easy access to their homes.

“At first, everybody was in a crisis mode,” said county Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Laura Jull. “Now it seems like everybody’s in gotta-deal-with-it mode.”

The routine of walking across a footbridge to get to her car on David Road is “getting old,” Taylor Road resident Barbara Davis said.

“We’re hanging in there, but it’s gone on for quite a while,” Davis said. “I’m looking forward to getting the road back.”

Since the road collapsed, Davis said she’s seen more of her neighbors. They walk through her yard to cross the deteriorating footbridge.

“I hope (the footbridge) holds up,” Davis said.

She said the first thing she plans to do when the road opens is wash her car.

Jull said her department has received few complaints from Taylor Road residents on how the county has handled the situation. Emergency Management is considering using this experience as a model for future natural disasters.

“We’ve been able to give them one-on-one service, which we would not have been able to do if had been a countywide disaster,” she said.

Design changes to accommodate the possible future construction of a concrete span and the need for deeper pilings delayed the bridge’s arrival from the Northern California factory where it was built. Despite the delay, the bridge’s opening still falls in the two-month construction window county officials promised residents during a community meeting in early January.

“Once we get the bridge in here all the contractor (General Construction Company of Poulsbo) has to do is hook it up, which should only take a couple of days,” Bear said.

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