Washington State’s 6,894 Bridges in Need of Repair are Eligible for $2.36 Billion in New Federal Grants

I-5 Bridge over the Columbia River, Highway 2 trestle in Everett among those eligible for Bridge Investment Program authorized by Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, encouraged Washington state, counties, municipalities and tribes to apply for the $2.36 billion Bridge Investment Program made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.                                                                                                            

“Today’s announcement of nearly $2.4 billion for the new Bridge Investment Program represents a real opportunity for Washington state to make serious headway in addressing its bridge inventory backlog,” said Senator Cantwell. “With over 400 bridges classified as structurally deficient, and thousands more in need of critical maintenance, there is a significant need to repair or replace these bridges before they become unusable.” 

The Department of Transportation today opened the application process for $2.36 billion in funding for the grants, which will be awarded on a competitive basis for bridge projects that improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of the movement of people and freight over bridges; and improve the condition of bridges in the United States.

Grants are available for bridge projects (projects with costs of $100 million or less) and large bridge projects (projects with eligible costs of $100 million or more). The large bridge projects are eligible for multiyear grants. An additional $20 million in funding is available for planning projects, and $40 million set aside for Tribal transportation facility bridges.

In April, Senator Cantwell visited the 105-year-old Interstate Bridge over the Columbia River, and cited the Bridge Investment Program as a possible source of funding for its replacement. The bridge – which serves as a vital interstate connector for people and commerce handling more than 130,000 crossings each day – is seismically unsound and would likely be substantially damaged beyond repair in a major earthquake.

Among the bridges that would be eligible for the grants:

I-5 Bridge Replacement, Clark County: This 105-year-old bridge is a key freight and commuter link over the Columbia River, handling more than 130,000 crossings each day.

US 2 Trestle, Snohomish County: A critical, aging link for freight and commuters that handles 3,600 vehicles per hour at peak times.

I-90 over Latah Creek, Spokane County: Connects Spokane to Spokane International Airport, handles 43,937 crossings per day. Considered structurally deficient, with a “poor” ranking from the Federal Highway Administration because expansion joints on the bridge deck are under strain.

SR 285 over Wenatchee River, Chelan County: Connects the city of Wenatchee to US 2, handles 19,988 crossings per day. Considered structurally deficient.

North Fork Bridge, Clark County: Important link on I-5 corridor, required emergency repairs earlier this month to repair a hole that had formed in the center lane. Considered structurally deficient.

Fishing Wars Memorial Bridge, Pierce County: Linking the cities of Fife and Tacoma, the Washington State Bridge Inventory System ranks the bridge at a 6 out of 100. Phase 2 of this project improves access, safety, and accommodation for multimodal travel.

According to the National Bridge Inventory, Washington state has identified 6,894 bridges in need of repair. Of these, 401 bridges are considered structurally deficient.

The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the program is HERE.

Planning Project Application Due: July 25, 2022, at 11:59 PM EDT

Large Bridge Project Application Due: August 9, 2022, at 11:59 PM EDT

Bridge Project Application Due: September 8, 2022, at 11:59 PM EDT.