- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) - Clallam County officials say they want a new Highway 101 bridge over the Elwha River.

The river has been eroding the base of the existing bridge since the largest dam-removal project in U.S. history allowed it to flow freely.

The Peninsula Daily News reports (https://goo.gl/VNy70l ) that Commissioner Mark Ozias and Sheriff Bill Benedict have signed a letter recommending that the state Department of Transportation build a new bridge with a new approach. The option would cost up to $25 million but would allow the highway to remain open during construction.

Highway 101 is an important east-west route across the northern part of the Olympic Peninsula. The bridge is more than 90 years old, and it was built on gravel instead of bedrock. Since the Elwha Dam and Glines Canyon dam were removed in 2012 and 2014, the river has been scouring that gravel away.

The bridge is considered safe for travel but is being closely monitored.

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Information from: Peninsula Daily News, http://www.peninsuladailynews.com

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