The Interstate 5 Bridge Replacement Program received its first federal funding: a $1 million planning grant from the Federal Highway Administration.
The program is one of 23 projects awarded a bridge planning grant, totaling $18.4 million. The funds originate from the bipartisan infrastructure law, signed in November.
Funds will be used on a ground-improvement study in the program area on Hayden Island. The study will mitigate against the effects of liquefaction in the event of an earthquake and support accelerated development and risk reduction for the program.
The program also applied for a $750 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration in August. Grant awards will be announced later this year.
“A program of this size generally does not get done without significant federal dollars,” Program Administrator Greg Johnson said in a press release. “We have not seen this level of federal infrastructure funding available since the 1990s, which includes new grant programs available for bridges and economically significant projects that haven’t existed previously.
“This is a unique window of opportunity to secure an infusion of federal dollars into our regional economy to support this critical infrastructure investment that would otherwise go elsewhere in the United States,” he continued.
The program plans to apply for the U.S. Department of Transportation Mega Program and the Federal Transit Administration Capital Investment Grant Program in early 2023.
“(This is) the first announcement of infusion of federal funding, to be awarded to the I-5 Bridge replacement to do seismic analysis and engineering work — so we can get about replacing (it) with a new bridge,” said Sen. Cantwell, D-Wash. “So I’m very excited about that.”
This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.