On Saturday, Feb 16, The Daily World published an article titled, ‘Tribe granted approval to replace bridge” that has some mistakes in it. The author described the project as replacing the Sickman Ford Bridge and then later described it as removing a 250 foot overflow bridge and redesigning it to better allow flood waters to pass. The project is substantially different from those descriptions and I would like to set the record straight, so that the public better understands the project. Here is a more precise project description:
Just before South Bank Road crosses the Sickman Ford Bridge near Oakville, the roadway was built on 6-10 feet of fill to raise it up out of the flood zone. That fill blocks flood waters from passing freely through the area and, during large floods, the water rises up and crosses the road with increased force. The Chehalis Tribe is planning to remove several thousand cubic yards of the fill from under South Bank Road and construct a new 250 foot bridge to provide flood relief to the area near the Sickman Ford Bridge. The new bridge will not be over the Chehalis River, it will be in the nearby flood plain. It will allow flood waters to return to their historic flood channels, thereby reducing the back-watering effect that occurs in that area during a flood. The Sickman Ford Bridge itself, will not be impacted by this project. The new flood relief bridge will be a modern, 3 span bridge, similar to the nearby Porter Creek Road bridge. Upon completion, the new flood relief bridge will decrease flooding upstream of the area and restore some of the natural functions of the flood plain.
Glen Connelly, CFM
Environmental Programs Manager