Event launches project slated to be completed by 2013
StoryEleven months after the span that crossed that crossed the Duwamish Waterway was closed to traffic, local, county, state and federal officials were on hand today for the a unique celebration marking the state of construction for the new South Park Bridge.
“Today is a great day for South Park residents and for our entire region. This project will create family-wage jobs and support businesses – both large and small,” said Councilmember Joe McDermott, whose district includes the South Park Bridge. “This corridor serves an area that is home to 70,000 jobs and as the entry to a commercial center where 76 percent of the businesses were minority owned.”
McDermott joined King County Executive Dow Constantine, Governor Chris Gregoire, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, Seattle City Council President Richard Conlin and Port of Seattle Commissioner Gael Tarleton at the south entrance of the old the bridge for the celebration. Since today is Cinco de Mayo, the dignitaries broke open a 26-foot replica of the future South Park Bridge constructed by local artists and neighborhood volunteers.
Last June, because of the deteriorating condition of the span, the 79-year-old bridge, which crossed the Duwamish Waterway and connected the South Park and Georgetown neighborhoods in south Seattle, was closed. Rebuilding the span is a priority for the region: more than 20,000 vehicles used the bridge every day and it was an important freight corridor that linked the manufacturing and industrial centers of Seattle with the rest of the region.
The cost of the construction phase of the bridge replacement project is estimated at $138 million. Federal grants, including $34 million in TIGER II grant funds, are guaranteed for the construction of the bridge. King County, the city of Seattle, Port of Seattle, the Puget Sound Regional Council and state funds will cover the remaining cost of construction.
The span is expected to be open for traffic by mid 2013