State awards more than $3.5 million for local bridge projects
November 29, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 10 a.m. Nov. 29, 2012
The state Department of Transportation awarded more than $3.5 million to Issaquah and King County to replace aging bridges, officials announced Wednesday.
The projects — a plan to replace the Northwest Dogwood Street bridge in downtown Issaquah and a plan to redo a bridge across 15 Mile Creek at the base of Tiger Mountain — received a portion of $130 million in federal funds to repair or replace aging bridges.
Replacing the Northwest Dogwood Street bridge across Issaquah Creek is a long-held goal among city officials, but a lack of funding prevented the project from proceeding in the past. The city project is in line to receive $2,254,400 in federal funds.
Reconstruction is meant to help reduce flooding by creating more capacity for the creek beneath the replacement bridge. The project could also add safer access for pedestrians — a change from the narrow bridge in place now.
The city completed a site survey for a replacement bridge in 2004 and geotechnical work related to the project in 2006.
In unincorporated King County just south of Issaquah, planners intend to replace the bridge across 15 Mile Creek at 24oth Avenue Southeast. The county project is in line to receive $1,307,426.
The replacement project is in the design phase. Early plans call for crews to replace the existing bridge and the approaches to the span.
The county imposed a load restriction on the existing bridge in 2009 to reduce strain on the span.
Statewide, 70 city and county projects received some funding through the transportation agency.
The transportation agency selected projects to replace, remove or repair aging, obsolete and structurally deficient bridges. Dollars for the program come from the Federal Highway Fund.
The department and the Bridge Replacement Advisory Committee, a group of bridge and engineering professionals, received and reviewed 87 applications.
The committee’s objective is to enhance traveler safety through replacement and rehabilitation of old bridges owned by cities and counties.
“Some of these bridges are beyond the point of repair and need to be replaced,” Kathleen Davis, Department of Transportation director of Highways & Local Programs, said in a statement. “Many of them, though, can be repaired, which will add many more years of operation to their lifespan.”