Funding Falls Through For South Park Bridge; Constantine Vows To Fight
On Wednesday (Feb. 17th), King County Executive Dow Constantine announced that he will vow to continue pursuing federal funding for replacement of the county’s South Park Bridge.
Constantine will need to do this because the latest round of federal stimulus money grants does NOT include any for this bridge, which is now scheduled to be closed down at the end of June.
According to Publicola:
“The latest round of TIGER (federal stimulus money) grants … includes $30 million in funding for the $200 million Mercer project … they skipped over a request from King County to replace the deteriorating South Park Bridge, which links South Park and White Center to the Duwamish industrial area and downtown Seattle across the Duwamish River.”
â€œI am very disappointed for the people of King County that our application for federal stimulus funding to replace the South Park Bridge was not approved,” Constantine said in a statement.
Constantine also added:
â€œWhile the bridge competed against a lot of other worthy projects, replacing this key transportation link is imperative to the economic health of affordable, diverse neighborhoods and the hundreds of industrial businesses that depend on direct vehicular access to State Route 99 and Interstate 5. It may not be a glamorous or high-profile project, but itâ€™s one that is vitally important to our economy and our society.”
â€œI am determined to pursue funding for this project through future TIGER grant cycles, the jobs bill, other federal appropriations, and the state Legislature. I thank Senator Patty Murray and the Washington delegation for their unwavering support of federal funding for this project. Itâ€™s my hope that their hard work will keep the South Park Bridge near the top of the list in future funding cycles.”
â€œI will also keep working with the King County Council to explore funding options that can provide a local match to federal funding opportunities for this and other unfunded projects around the county.”
â€œUnder the Road Services Division budget adopted by the Council last fall, the bridge is scheduled to be closed at the end of June, and eventually removed.â€
And not to be out-disappointed, Councilmember Jan Drago released the following statement Wed. afternoon:
â€œI was disappointed to learn that the South Park Bridge project did not receive any federal stimulus grant money. While I am glad to see that the hard work and coordination at all levels of government did reap some rewards by way of $30 million in federal dollars for the Mercer Street projectâ€”a critical regional connection that will bring much needed jobs and economic stimulus to our areaâ€”we have scores of other infrastructure projects in King County and throughout the Puget Sound region that lack funding.
â€œI look forward to working with the King County Executive, my fellow Councilmembers, the city of Seattle and our state and federal leaders on solutions for the South Park Bridge project that will protect the safety of all drivers, and provide freight capacity for the Duwamish area.â€
King County Councilmember Drago represents the communities of West Seattle, North Highline, Vashon and Maury islands, Burien, Normandy Park, SoDo, International District/Chinatown, Pioneer Square, West Beacon Hill, and portions of SeaTac, Tukwila and West Hill.