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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


New recommendation of funding puts replacement for South Park Bridge within reach

Summary

An independent board charged with advocating for state funding to improve freight mobility has made a preliminary recommendation to contribute up to $5 million toward construction of a new South Park Bridge.

Story

An independent board charged with advocating for state funding to improve freight mobility has made a preliminary recommendation to contribute up to $5 million toward construction of a new South Park Bridge.

The recommendation from the Project Selection Committee of the Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board (FMSIB) will be considered at the Board’s next meeting in September, for action during the next state legislative session.

“This latest funding recommendation dramatizes just how important a new South Park Bridge is to the economy and mobility of our region,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “On behalf of all the stakeholders who have been working tirelessly to obtain funding for this bridge, I want to thank the Freight Mobility Board for its support and for moving us another step closer to the finish line.”

“The support of the Freight Mobility Board is greatly appreciated. It adds to the incredible momentum we’ve built with our partner agencies, stakeholders and the community to get this bridge rebuilt,” said Metropolitan King County Councilmember Jan Drago, who represents the South Park and Georgetown neighborhoods.

The $5 million contribution approved by the FMSIB is the latest in a series of pledges from state and local governments over the past two months. The county estimates the cost of demolishing the old bridge and building a new structure to be more than $130 million. The county is about to submit its application for a federal TIGER II grant for the balance of the funding.

Meanwhile, county road engineers are moving forward with demolition and pre-construction work. Crews are currently in the process of removing vacant buildings on county-owned property adjacent to the bridge. The property will be needed to accommodate the staging of equipment and materials once construction begins on a new bridge. Crews will then prepare the bascule leaves for removal.

By Aug. 30 the Duwamish Waterway will be the scene of major activity as barges and a crane detach and remove the huge 225-ton leaves. This phase will likely require some nighttime work due to restrictions in closing the navigational waterway. The leaves will be barged to a remote site for further demolition and salvage.

The 81-year-old South Park Bridge has reached the end of its useful life and was closed earlier this summer for public safety. Engineers believe the bridge foundation buried beneath the Duwamish River is severely deteriorated.  Recognizing the crucial role the bridge plays in supporting the local economy and moving vehicles and freight, Executive Constantine has led an aggressive effort with agency partners and community members to assemble funding to get a new bridge built.

Firm pledges of funding total $95 million, with other funds pending:

  • King County – $30 million
  • State of Washington – $20 million
  • City of Seattle – $15 million
  • Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) – $15 million
  • State Transportation Improvement Board – $10 million
  • Port of Seattle – $5 million
  • Federal DOT-HUD funding bill - $3 million (pending Congressional approval)
  • FMSIB – up to $5 million (pending approval by full board and state legislature)


Related information

King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography