The House of Representatives passed legislation June 29 that would authorize expedited permitting and contracting for replacement work on Washington state’s structurally-deficient bridges.
Rep. Hans Zeiger, R-Puyallup, introduced House Bill 1219 due to concerns about the condition of the Meridian Street Puyallup Bridge in his own 25th Legislative District.
“I am pleased the new Meridian Street Puyallup River Bridge is opening to traffic shortly. I commend the work crew and the Department of Transportation for a job well done. But we should have replaced the Puyallup River Bridge years ago,” Zeiger said in a release. “The original bridge was rated two out of 100 on the scale of structural sufficiency — Puyallup’s founder Ezra Meeker drove across that bridge, and so did 17,000 people a day in recent years, even after truck travel was restricted to the northbound right lane in 2011.”
The Washington State Department of Transportation recently identified 130 bridges as structurally deficient.
“It’s largely for lack of easy permitting and contracting the state’s list of structurally deficient bridges is so long. We desperately need to repair or replace structurally deficient bridges across Washington.
“House Bill 1219 will allow the state to bypass standard processes of permitting and contracting to ensure crews can get to work quickly to repair or replace structurally deficient bridges,” Zeiger said. “This reform will save time and money for taxpayers and drivers.”
The bill is now headed to the Senate for further consideration.