Many of you have seen the Portable Traffic Messaging Boards (PCMS) that were placed out on Monday, June 5, 2023, advising that the 4th Street Bridge would be closing to vehicular traffic starting the week of June 12th. The PCMS boards also advise that bicycle and pedestrian traffic will still be able to cross the bridge. Why is this necessary? In 2016 the engineering firm that routinely inspects our bridges let us know that we were approaching the day when the bridge would need to be replaced in order to continue to carry vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic. Cars and trucks are far more damaging to the timbers on the bridge deck and the steel structure over time. The cost projected at that time for the replacement was 8 million dollars. Today’s cost for replacement has increased to about 10 million dollars. Because grant opportunities are extremely unlikely for this type of project, any funds to replace the bridge would come entirely from local sources. Alternatives to this costly bridge replacement include total bridge closure (removal) for about ½ million dollars, and reduction of load rating, which is to say elimination of vehicular traffic. Eliminating vehicular traffic, and continuing to allow bicycle and pedestrian traffic, is the most cost-effective choice and also provides a significantly extended lifespan for the bridge. Directions are being corrected on Google to help re-route traffic appropriately. Luckily, affected neighboring areas that may have used this bridge as a driving route have alternate means of getting into and out of their neighborhoods.