WSDOT building temporary bridge on SR 21 near Republic

WSDOT building temporary bridge on SR...

FERRY COUNTY, Wash. - The Washington State Department of Transportation is working to build a temporary bridge on SR 21 along the West Fork of the Sanpoil River, about 15 miles south of Republic.

The road has been closed for a few days due to flooding and washout.

Usually it only takes about fifteen minutes for Gregg Caudell to get to Republic to run errands.

But right now, it's a different story. Because of the bridge wash out, residents are detouring more than two hours.

Caudell usually goes to Republic for "the mail, car parts, groceries, feed for the horses, quite a few things actually. The nearest would be Grand Coulee or Wilbur."

But that has had to change.

"My wife works in Olympia, so I had to take her to Omak to catch a ride," Caudell said. "Then I parked on the other side and came through Tonasket, and for a couple days I could use my rig to [go to] town, then when I brought the rig back, I went over Sherman and to Inchelium and over Bridge Creek which is two and a half hours."

Gregg says the washout of this road started about a week ago.

"A fella wrecked there," he said. "He hit the hole that was made there."

The WSDOT is working to quickly fix the situation.

Right now, they're filling in the washed out area, then they'll install a bailey bridge.

"They're surplus dock World War 2," Bruce explained. "The state has an inventory of Bailey bridge parts and we will construct by hand a Bailey bridge that will span the bridge and then we can put one lane traffic on the bridge."

Gregg said he appreciates the crews showing up as quickly as they did, and is looking forward to the creeks going down, and life getting back to normal.

The closure is also affecting some students who live in Keller and commute to Republic.