US Transportation Secretary promises continued support for West Seattle Bridge

The Seattle Transportation Department is still planning to get the West Seattle Bridge fixed by the middle of next year–despite getting only half the federal money it’s asked for so far.

Load Error All traffic has been diverted from the high-rise West Seattle Bridge since March of 2020 when it was determined there were cracks in the concrete that made the bridge was unsafe to carry the weight of traffic. “I’ve had to find different ways around and they all fill up and then there’s a lot of road work on top of it.

It’s tough,” said West Seattle Bridge commuter Brandy Harris Traffic now has to detour for half an hour or more in order to leave West Seattle. “It’s still not very convenient and helpful, but you know I’d rather not fall into the river,” said commuter Chris Rapcewicz.

The city asked for £22 million in federal money for permanent repairs but a couple of weeks ago got just half that. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is speaking with reporters to promote President Biden’s infrastructure plan. KIRO 7 asked him about the Seattle money when we spoke to him Wednesday.

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DOWNLOAD OUR FREE NEWS APP  “We think it’s very important to support the West Seattle Bridge.

And we’ve been in touch with the project sponsors about how to get it reopened. They indicated that, they could make it happen with the funding that that we proposed. And we’re excited about that,” Buttigieg responded.

We asked Seattle’s transportation department if it’s truly OK with just half the money they asked for. “Well, I have to say that when we are just about to receive a grant from the federal government, it is not really a time to negotiate. So we are thrilled for any level of support that the United States department of transportation wants to give us,” said Seattle Mobility Director Heather Marx.

She says on to say that they’ll seek local bonds and regional funding sources and more federal money to pay for a project that will ultimately cost £175 million. “We’re going to continue working with the community to ensure that, uh, that this moves forward. And that that gets reopened in great condition,” Buttigieg said.

Seattle’s Department of Transportation promises is to reopen the bridge in mid-2022. Brandy Harris is anxious. “I know they say it’s next summer, I hope it’s not next December,” she said. Marx has a reassuring message for Harris and other West Seattle Bridge commuters.

“Hang tough.

We are coming and we’re going to deliver that fully repaired bridge just when we promised.”

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