Dow Constantine loves this bridge.
  • Dow Constantine really loves this bridge.
Today, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced that the state and the County Council have pledged a combined $50 million towards replacing the South Park bridge. Along with the Seattle City Council's previous pledge of $15 million, the county is now more than halfway to the $131 million needed to fund the bridge replacement.

Constantine was joined by Governor Christine Gregoire, who pledged $20 million on behalf of Washington state. Gregoire noted that aside from being a vital freight corridor, the bridge is "the primary physical and symbolic connection to one of King County's most diverse and vibrant neighborhoods." She and others stressed how imperative it is not to lose that connection.

On Monday, the King County Council pledged $30 million in bonds towards replacing the bridge. "Rebuilding the bridge isn't cheap, but closing this bridge comes with a price tag as well," says County Council Member Julia Patterson. She noted that the bridge's indefinite closure is projected to cost the region more in terms of economic benefits than the price of two new bridges.

In addition to funding from King County, the city, and the state, the Port of Seattle has pledged $5 million and a parcel of land towards the bridge replacement.

The county is also currently applying for a federal Tiger II grant to cover roughly $40 million of the replacement. Successful grants hinge on local and state funding commitments, which the county has now proven its more than capable of securing.

The bridge is slated to close permanently at 7:00 p.m. on June 30 due to its unsafe infrastructure. Once full funding is secured, a new bridge will take at least two years to build.