The Clallam County commissioners approved an emergency closure of the Sol Duc River bridge on Quillayute Road on Tuesday.
County Engineer Ross Tyler told the commissioners during a work session Monday that the bridge sustained structural damage when it took a “significant hit” from an over-height load April 5 and that he does not want to risk more damage to the bridge.
“I’m just not comfortable leaving it open,” Tyler said. “We can’t have loads on the bridge if we have fear that it’s going to damage it further or collapse.”
Tyler did not provide a timeline for the closure to commissioners but said in a phone interview that it could be mid- to late May before the bridge is reopened.
He estimated the repairs could cost around $10,000 or $15,000.
The bridge remained open Monday and will remain open until the commissioners take action at their 10 a.m. meeting Tuesday. They will consider whether to close Quillayute Road between milepost 6.42 and milepost 6.75 west of Forks.
Commissioner Randy Johnson said there was little doubt in his mind that the bridge will be closed.