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Commissioners to consider local standards for private bridges on May 8


Carolyn Heniges, Public Works
Phone: (360) 397-6118 ext. 4522

Vancouver, WA The Board of County Commissioners is considering local standards that could reduce construction and repair costs for privately owned bridges.

Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the proposed standards during their regular meeting, which begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 8 in the Public Service Center, sixth-floor hearing room, 1300 Franklin St.

Proposed standards for new bridges are one aspect of a broader program on private bridges. The county has worked cooperatively with fire districts to inform residents about the need to have private bridges inspected by qualified bridge engineers every five years.

A private bridge that may not be sturdy enough to support a fire engine could delay firefighters and paramedics during an emergency. If fire vehicles cannot cross a private bridge, firefighters still will respond, but that could mean carrying heavy equipment or running hoses for extended distances, a delaying the response.

The proposed code amendments would not require inspections and possible upgrades to existing private bridges unless additional homes are built or new lots are created. In some cases, developers or home builders could opt for fire-resistant construction, such as equipping homes with fire sprinklers, as an alternative to upgrading a private bridge.

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