In a world of mega-projects and fantastical engineering, Washington State hasn’t lost sight of its need to improve its small, local connections too.
While the state’s construction industry certainly—and rightly so—keeps a close eye on the troubles plaguing the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel and the State Route 520 project that gamely charges forward, a relatively miniscule $70 million federal funding will help small communities in the state.
The federal highway money allows the fixing or full replacement of 32 bridges throughout the state.
The Washington State Dept. of Transportation selected the city and county projects that will replace, remove or repair aging and structurally deficient bridges. The strategic investment aims to preserve crucial, locally owned transportation infrastructure.
“Approximately half of these bridges are beyond the point of repair and need to be replaced,” Kathleen Davis, WSDOT local programs director says in a statement. “And by repairing and preserving the other half, we are adding many years of operation to their lifespans.”
A WSDOT bridge replacement advisory committee received and reviewed 73 applications requesting approximately $180 million in funding. The committee, comprised of bridge and engineering professionals representing Washington cities and counties that provide perspectives from urban and rural communities, evaluated each bridge application based on the bridge’s condition and sufficiency rating.
The funds awarded range from over $200,000 for scour repair to $3 million for full replacement.
Tim Newcomb is Engineering News-Record’s Pacific Northwest contributor. He also writes for Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated and more. You can follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb or visit his website here.