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King County Executive News

King County Executive News
Oct. 15, 2010

Constantine congratulates Senator Murray for her leadership to help secure $34 million TIGER II grant that completes financing for new South Park Bridge

Councilmembers join in appreciation of federal award that will enable construction to go out to bid

King County Executive Dow Constantine and members of the Metropolitan King County Council today thanked and congratulated U.S. Senator Patty Murray for her leadership in helping to secure the final funding needed to replace the closed South Park Bridge – culminating years of planning and, and more recently, a show of financial support from local partners.

Speaking to community residents gathered on the deck of the old bridge, Senator Murray announced that the U.S Department of Transportation has awarded the bridge replacement project with $34 million from the TIGER II (Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery) grant program. The federal grant clears the way for construction of a new South Park Bridge, which is estimated to cost about $131 million.

“Senator Murray has been steadfast in her support of the South Park community and the entire Duwamish industrial valley, and today her leadership is making a real difference in the lives and livelihood of these residents and businesses,” said Executive Constantine. “Just a few months ago, some thought this was an impossible task. But we said we would rebuild the South Park Bridge. We said we would work together to secure the funds. We said we would keep this hard-working neighborhood in business. And today, thanks to the leadership and tenacity of our senior senator from Washington State – we did it.”

Over the past several months, Executive Constantine has forged key partnerships, met with state and congressional leaders, and has traveled to Washington D.C. to seek federal funding for a new South Park Bridge. Those efforts have resulted in firm pledges of funding totaling $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
  • Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board (FMSIB) – up to $5 million (pending approval by full board and state legislature)
  • Federal DOT-HUD funding bill - $3 million (pending Congressional approval)

“Putting together a winning coalition of funding partners to get this bridge rebuilt has been a marathon effort, and Senator Murray’s support has pushed us over the finish line today!” said County Councilmember Jan Drago, who represents the South Park and Georgetown neighborhoods. “I am truly grateful for everything Senator Murray has done on behalf of the bridge project, on behalf of the South Park and Georgetown communities, on behalf of the businesses and industries that rely on this bridge, and for inspiring us to come together as a region to make this project happen and get our economy moving.”

“We are closer to the reality of a new South Park Bridge because of Senator Murray’s efforts to obtain this critical funding,” said Council Chair Bob Ferguson. “From an economic and social equity standpoint, the swift rebuilding of this bridge is important to the South Park community and region.”

“I applaud Senator Patty Murray’s leadership in securing this federal funding to replace the South Park Bridge. The bridge is critical for protecting manufacturing, industrial, and small business jobs, and replacing it would add construction jobs during this critical time,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, Chair of the Council’s Environment and Transportation Committee. “I am also proud of King County and all of the local, regional, and state partners who have worked so hard to piece together local matching funds to replace this important infrastructure.”

“I want to thank Senator Murray and our federal delegation for recognizing the regional importance of this project,” said Councilmember Julia Patterson. “Today’s announcement is not only good news for South Park, but for everyone who depends on the bridge to commute, move goods, and keep our economy going.”

The TIGER II grant process was highly competitive, attracting nearly 1000 applications nationwide. Approximately $600 million in grants were awarded to projects based on their effectiveness in moving freight, serving economically disadvantaged communities, promoting multiple modes of transportation and leveraging local partnerships. Going into this latest TIGER grant process, the county felt confident its South Park Bridge application would reflect these federal priorities, making it a strong candidate for funding.

Now that the necessary construction funding has been secured, bridge engineers will move ahead with finalizing permits and a construction bid package. The county plans to go to bid in early 2011.

The county expects full construction to be underway next spring with the new bridge completed an open to traffic in late 2013.

The county will provide ongoing updates to the community throughout the construction period.

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