The wooden trestle bridge that allows pedestrians to cross the railroad tracks at the north end of Boulevard Park will be closed indefinitely due to rot.
City staff discovered a defect in one of the beams above the walking deck of the bridge while working on another project this month, said Marvin Harris, operations manager for Bellingham Parks.
“It’s hard to see from the inside of the bridge, but from below if looked like there was a crack or protrusion in the laminated beams,” Harris said.
The trestle bridge connects the north end of Boulevard Park to about the level of South State Street via a staircase and bridge span.
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An engineer took a closer look Tuesday, Feb. 16, and found a weak point in the bridge that would need to be repaired. That worker recommended closing the bridge to pedestrians until a structural engineer could do more analysis.
The trestle bridge, which connects the north end of the park to about the level of South State Street via a staircase and bridge span, was scheduled to be closed by the weekend of Feb. 20.
It was not known as of Thursday, Feb. 18, how long the bridge would be closed.
It was expected to take at least a week for a structural engineer to be able to closely inspect the bridge and draft a recommended fix.
The estimated cost of that repair will drive what happens next. If it is likely to cost more than $10,000, the fix would have to go out to bid, which could add time to the closure.
“It’s a situation we’re certainly glad to find at this point, and we’re moving as quickly as we can towards repairing it,” Harris said.
Signs will show the bridge is closed, and detour signs could be posted soon.
To access the park while the bridge is closed, people can walk north down the trail from South State Street to connect with the South Bay Trail and enter the park via the pedestrian crossing of the railroad tracks at the north end of the park, or follow the sidewalks along Bayview Drive to enter the park from the south.