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Status update

April 2022

The construction schedule has been revised. We now expect to begin work on the new replacement bridge in 2026, instead of 2024. It will take approximately two years to build the replacement bridge. The revised construction schedule allows the county more time to obtain the necessary environmental permits and approvals needed to finalize the bridge design and start construction.

Project overview

The Baring bridge provides sole access to approximately 170 properties, including more than 40 residences, in the unincorporated community of Baring, WA. Much of the bridge has been repaired or retrofitted over the years, however it continues to decay and must be replaced. King County will replace the existing timber bridge with a wider, steel truss bridge. The new bridge will be open to all vehicles and carry no weight restrictions. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2026 and last through 2028.

Project location

Baring Bridge.

Baring Bridge is a King County owned and maintained timber suspension bridge. It is located on NE Index Creek Road over the South Fork of the Skykomish River near the Town of Baring and U.S. Route 2. The bridge was built in 1930. In 1999, it was designated a Landmark by King County and in August 2019, the bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Vicinity map
View on My Commute

Replacement bridge design

The new Baring Bridge will be a steel truss bridge. It will be built in the same location as the existing bridge. The new bridge will be open to all sizes and types of vehicles. It will have one single lane and wide shoulders for pedestrians.

Drawing of the new bridge.
  • Reusing the main steel cables of the existing bridge as a decorative element on the bridge railing.
  • Painting the steel truss “National Park Service Brown,” so that it blends in with the scenery.
  • Incorporating weathered steel railings on the bridge and approach to better fit the rural character of the setting.
  • Weathering the steel railings on the new bridge and the bridge approaches to help make the new bridge appear older than it is.
Baring Bridge, current condition.
The weight restriction on the existing Baring bridge (above) is 10 tons (20,000 pounds). The steel truss replacement bridge will not have a vehicle weight restriction.

What to expect during construction

Construction is currently planned to start in spring 2026 and end in spring 2028. King County will build a temporary one-lane bridge adjacent to and downstream of the existing bridge. The temporary bridge will carry traffic over the South Fork of the Skykomish River while the new bridge is under construction. Once the temporary bridge opens to traffic, the existing bridge will be closed and removed.

Community involvement

Community open house, January 26, 2019
Road Services held the first Baring Bridge Replacement Project open house in January 2019. The open house was held in the King County Fire District 50 station near the Baring Bridge.

Public engagement with community members about the replacement Baring Bridge project began in January 2019. Since then, we have held several community meetings, presentations and workshops. We’ve used input from residents, visitors, local businesses, county representatives, state and national agencies to help design the replacement bridge. The project team will continue to work with the public and partner agencies until the new bridge is officially complete. A detailed listing of our public engagement materials, activities and presentations is available in the public outreach and documents section of this website. Community members are welcome to contact us directly for more information or to schedule a meeting.

Frequently asked questions about the selected preferred alternative

The new bridge will be built in the approximate same location as the existing bridge.
The existing bridge will be removed once traffic is moved over to the temporary bridge.
The Baring Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register of Historic Places is governed by federal and state laws and regulations. King County must follow specific rules to decommission, remove and replace a bridge or any other property that is listed on or has been determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Federal and state laws require mitigation for the removal and replacement of the bridge. Mitigation is a list of agreed-upon actions or commitments designed to help compensate for possible environmental impacts caused by the removal and replacement of the bridge. In this case, the U.S Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for determining the proposed mitigation plan. Next, the Corps works with the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation to make sure both agencies agree on the proposed mitigation plan. Once the agreement is finalized, the Corps will publish a document called the Memorandum of Agreement. This Memorandum is necessary to allow the county to remove the historic Baring bridge.
The Baring Bridge is listed as a King County Landmark. To remove the bridge, Road Services will apply for permission from the King County Landmarks Commission. Next, the Landmarks Commission will review our application and hold a public comment period. Following the application, public comment and approval process, the Commission will grant Road Services permission with a “Certificate of Appropriateness.” This certificate is what Road Service needs to move forward. We plan to start the Landmarks Commission process in 2023 or 2024.
King County engaged with a team of engineering and environmental experts and community members to help select the final design of the new bridge. The experts and the community members were provided with several bridge design alternatives and asked to provide their input according to what was most important to them.
An inclusive team of experts met to discuss, evaluate and score all the proposed design alternatives. The experts included specialists from a variety of fields: Engineering, permitting, environmental, property right-of-way and bridge construction. Next, the team engaged with community members to find out what was most important to the community, and to receive input, comments and questions about the proposed bridge design alternatives. The total scores of each design alternative along with input from the community were reviewed, analyzed and finalized by the Director of King County Road Services, the County Road Engineer and the Engineering Services Section Manager.
The final design, permitting, and necessary land purchases are expected to be complete in late 2025. We originally planned to complete all the design, permitting and right-of-way work in late 2023. However, it is taking longer than anticipated to obtain the necessary federal and local permits we need to finalize the design and start construction.

We intend to advertise the project to potential contractors in winter 2025. Construction is expected to start in spring/summer 2026 and end in spring 2028.
Yes, the weight restriction on the existing bridge is 10 tons (20,000 pounds). The weight restriction was posted in January 1995.
Yes, the current weight restriction on the existing bridge is 10 tons (20,000 pounds). The weight restriction was posted in January 1995. The restriction will remain 10 tons until the replacement bridge is built.
No. The new bridge will not have any weight restrictions.
Yes. A temporary bridge will be built adjacent to and downstream of the existing bridge for public use while the new bridge is being built. The temporary bridge will not have weight restrictions.
Community members are always welcome to contact the project team. You can email our communications manager at Bbender@kingcounty.gov or call 206-263-1189.

There also will be opportunities for community members to participate in project update meetings and events as we draw closer to finalizing the project design. We will update the project website and send out “save the date” notifications for all future community meetings.
Contact us

24/7 Road Helpline: 206-477-8100 or 1-800-527-6237

TTY Relay: 711

Twitter: @KCRoads