Wire thieves damage Tacoma's Murray Morgan Bridge

Dec 15, 2010

The Murray Morgan bridge spanning Tacoma's Thea Foss Waterway can no longer be raised to allow tall ships to pass beneath it.  City of Tacoma spokesman Rob McNair-Huff says copper wire thieves broke into the bridge's mechanical room and ripped out the wires from the power and control panel.  They also damaged the motors and controls.

The City says the bridge is so old that replacement parts are no longer available.  Repairing the damage could cost up to $300,000.  

City crews are looking for a way to temporarily raise the bridge while it's being repaired.  The bridge is usually raised two or three times a month during the winter to allow marine traffic to pass underneath.  It gets raised 10 to 12 times a month during the peak summer boating season.

The theft occurred sometime between November 22 and December 8.  The city has chosen PCL Constructions Services, Inc. of Bellevue to rehabilitate the bridge.  The bridge should be open to traffic again by the end of 2012.