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Seattle's Ship Canal Bridge could get federal funding for much needed repairs

Seattle's Ship Canal Bridge will likely receive part of these funds after being identified as a priority preservation project by the state.

SEATTLE — On Friday, President Biden’s Administration announced that the Department of Transportation is launching a $27 billion program to repair and upgrade highway bridges across the country, with more than $605 million coming to Washington state.

Funding from the so-called Bridge Formula Program is being allocated to specific projects decided on by state and local governments, but the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has identified two bridges as priority projects in desperate need of funding.

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One of these bridges is the hugely important Ship Canal Bridge on Interstate 5, which connects the Capitol Hill area to the University District and beyond.

The bridge was recently spotlighted after the two parks beneath it at either end had to be closed because large chunks of concrete were falling from its underbelly, an issue that WSDOT’s been aware of since 2015.

However, Ship Canal Bridge is only one of the more than 6,000 bridges in the state that needs repair, according to officials.

Last year, the state received a “C” grade on its federal Infrastructure Report Card, which counted 416 bridges across the state in poor condition and structurally deficient.

"With over 400 of Washington‘s bridges classified as structurally deficient, I’m glad to see this $605 million in much-needed funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law going to Washington so we can improve our bridge infrastructure,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell.

The following bridges have unfunded preservation needs as identified by WSDOT:

  • SR 503 Lew River Yale Bridge (Clark County)
  • Cowlitz River Bridge on SR 4 (Cowlitz County)
  • Port Washington Bridge on SR 303 (Kitsap County)
  • Skagit River Bridge on SR 536 (Skagit County)
  • 10 bridges on SR 542 in Whatcom County need preservation work east of Deming.
  • Palouse River Bridge on US 195 in Colfax (Whitman County)
  • Wenatchee River Bridge on SR 207 (Chelan County)
  • US 97 Columbia River Beebe Bridge (Douglas County)
  • Kettle River Bridge on SR 21 (Ferry County)
  • Dry Wash Bridge in Khalotus on SR 260 (Franklin County)
  • Elmer C. Huntley Bridge on SR 127 (Garfield County)
  • Humptulips River Bridge on US 101 (Grays Harbor County)
  • Swale Creek Bridge and Bickleton Road Bridge on SR 97(Klickitat County)
  • Chehalis Riverside Bridge on SR 6 (Lewis County)
  • 8 bridges over the Methow River on SR 153 (Okanogan County)
  • The Teal Slough Bridge and Greenhead Slough Bridge on US 101 (Pacific County)
  • Spiketon Creek Bridge on SR 162 (Pierce County)
  • Brickford Avenue Bridge over SR 9 (Snohomish County)
  • Deschutes River Bridge on SR 507 (Thurston County)
  • Harrison Road Bridge on SR 823 near Selah (Yakima County)

The federal funds are part of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that Biden signed into law in November. 

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