Open houses to focus on private bridges and emergency response
Topics to include new and existing bridges, new lots and new homes
Vancouver, WA – A private bridge that may not be sturdy enough to support a fire engine could delay firefighters and paramedics during an emergency.
If equipment cannot cross a private bridge, firefighters still will respond, even if it means carrying heavy equipment or running hoses for extended distances for a delayed response.
For this reason, Clark County recommends that every private bridge be inspected by a qualified bridge engineer once every five years to establish its load capacity.
Clark County and local fire districts are teaming up to provide public information on this issue in a series of three open houses beginning next week:
Tuesday, Jan. 24, 4-7 p.m.
Clark County Fire & Rescue, Station 26
21609 N.E. 72nd Ave., Battle Ground
Wednesday, Feb. 1, 4-7 p.m.
Yacolt Town Hall
202 W. Cushman St., Yacolt
Thursday, Feb. 9, 4-7 p.m.
East County Fire & Rescue, Station 91
600 N.E. 267th Ave., Camas
The county also has drafted proposed standards for the construction of new private bridges, rather than continuing to rely on federal standards. If adopted, local standards are expected to reduce construction and repair costs for private bridges.
For an existing private bridge, the proposed standards would require action only if additional homes are built or new lots are created. In such cases, developers or home builders could choose to have the private bridge inspected and possibly upgraded or, alternatively, provide fire-resistant construction, such as homes with fire sprinklers.
More information, including the proposed standards and a CVTV video, is available online at: www.clark.wa.gov/privatebridges. Public comments may be sent to Carolyn Heniges, Clark County Public Works, PO Box 9810, Vancouver, WA 98666-9810, or Carolyn.Heniges@clark.wa.gov.
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