Aberdeen, WA – The Heron Street Bridge preferred alternative has been announced, but the design for the project is still years away.

On Wednesday at the Rotary Log Pavilion, the Washington State Department of Transportation held an open house to discuss what a replacement for the aging structure.

The bridge, first opened to traffic in 1949, is up for replacement by the WSDOT.

In March, a survey was given to those who attended a prior open house and placed online for travelers to weigh in on which of the alternatives they preferred.

The majority of the options impacted both Zelasko Park and local businesses in some way.

The chosen preferred alternative, based on public comment, would place a new bridge in the same location it currently sits.

Now that this process is done, Dennis Engel, Multimodal Planning Manager for WSDOT, tells KXRO that it is a waiting game for final approval and budgeting, which could take years.

Once the bridge design work begins in 2024, it would take approximately 3 years until the replacement is finished.

During that time, a temporary bridge would be built next to the current structure as crews work on a new permanent bridge.

At the open house, WSDOT says that placing a new bridge was the overall top choice in public comment, with cost, least impact to businesses, and no changes to the roads being among the top concerns. The results reported showed 41% chose the preferred alternative.

One of the alternatives would have replaced both the Heron Street and Wishkah River Bridge at the same time, and KXRO asked Engel what plans are in place for the 95 year old structure that failed this week, backing up traffic.