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Friday, October 15, 2010

New South Park Bridge project wins TIGER II grant from U.S. Department of Transportation

The United States Department of Transportation announced today that it will put up the final $34 million necessary to fund the replacement of the old South Park Bridge in south Seattle, which closed down at the end of June, severing an important link over the Duwamish River.

The $34 million grant comes from USDOT's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) initiative, which was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. King County, the City of Seattle, and the Port of Seattle have all pledged money towards the project as well, which will total about $130 million and take two to three years to complete.

The grant was officially announced by Senator Patty Murray at an event on the deck of the old bridge this morning.

With her were King County Executive Dow Constantine and most of the King County Council, who thanked Murray for her efforts in securing the grant.

"This is a huge victory for a community that deserves an economic jolt," Murray declared from the bridge deck, to relieved neighbors.

"A rebuilt South Park Bridge will get workers back on the job, customers back into businesses, and ease congestion through south Seattle."

“I congratulate Seattle and King County for their success in acquiring the federal funding necessary to replace the torn down South Park Bridge," added Senator Maria Cantwell in a news release.

"Not only does this project provide immediate construction jobs, it will also ensure the long-term economic vitality of the South Park neighborhood by reopening a key commerce transportation route. The new bridge will improve transportation safety, decrease travel times, and speed the delivery of goods and services while contributing to area job growth and economic development for years to come.”

We at NPI are very glad to hear that this very deserving project has won a TIGER II grant. One of our own board members — Seattle Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton — has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to convince other elected leaders to make this project a priority, and the rest of us thank her for standing up for the neighbors of South Park. True leadership involves listening, and Gael proved that she's a listener by making time to go attend community meetings so she could hear residents' concerns. This issue has been on her radar for a very long time.

Congratulations to Gael and everyone else who worked to make this project a reality. It's wonderful to see that it's actually going to leave the drawing board.


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