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.”

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2 Responses to “State awards more than $3.5 million for local bridge projects”

  1. Alan McSwain on November 29th, 2012 12:48 pm

    My home and family can only be reached via the 15 Mile Creek bridge. There is no other access. While I appreciate the efforts of the County to repair or replace the span, I simply cannot fathom -WHY- a 40 foot bridge costs in excess of 1.3 -MILLION- dollars. I would really like papers like the Issaquah Press to be more aggressive on behalf of the taxpayers and press the county to answer -tough- questions like “What percentage of the bridge’s total estimated cost is the materials and the direct construction labor?” and “What is the breakdown of the remaining non-value added costs and expenses?”

    Your readers are taxpayers and deserve better advocacy on your part. Continued failure to ask these -obvious- and -tough- questions will render your paper useless and superfluous.

  2. Alan McSwain on November 29th, 2012 1:07 pm

    A quick addendum to my prior post. Looking at shows the estimated cost of the 240th bridge will be over $2,000,000 dollars. That’s $50,000 dollars a -foot-.

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