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King County Executive releases statement on the need to invest in infrastructure
The following is a release from King County Executive Dow Constantine.
“In the time since the I-5/Skagit Bridge was built to 1955 standards, the state’s population has nearly tripled. Last night we could see the consequences of the systematic disinvestment in our regional infrastructure over the last three decades. The region and state have not made the investments needed to bring these structures into the modern era. We must do better.
“Working with the cities inside King County we've identified 38 at-risk bridges that will require an investment of $1.2billion to repair or replace.
“In just the unincorporated areas that are the County’s sole responsibility, we have eight steel through-truss bridges of the same type as the I-5/Skagit Bridge. Three of those bridges have a sufficiency rating of less than 50, lower than the I-5 bridge. Two of them are rated structurally deficient – the Alvord T near Kent, which we are closing on June 28, and the Miller River Bridge near Skykomish, which is already closed. One is rated functionally obsolete – the Stossel Bridge over the Snoqualmie River near Carnation.
“Earlier this week I spent two hours personally observing the final inspection of the 99-year old Alvord T Bridge, which must be closed permanently next month. One of my first, tough tasks upon taking office was to close the crumbling South Park Bridge. The replacement bridge opens early next year, thanks to the partnership we forged to fund it.
“It will take new authority and new partnerships to maintain, repair, and rebuild the rest of our infrastructure. As we witnessed last night, it’s essential to our state economy, and critical to public safety.
“Last night’s terrible event drives home the urgency for the legislature to act on a transportation package that places a priority on critical maintenance and repair on our bridges and roadways.”