South Park BridgeEdit profile
Coordinates: 47°31′45″N 122°18′51″W / 47.5293°N 122.31407°W / 47.5293; -122.31407
The South Park Bridge (also called the 14th/16th Avenue South Bridge) was a Scherzer Rolling Lift double-leaf bascule bridge, constructed in 1929-31 and closed to traffic on June 30, 2010, due to safety concerns. The South Park Bridge carried automobile traffic over the Duwamish River near Boeing Field, just outside the city limits of Seattle, Washington, USA. It is named for the nearby South Park neighborhood of Seattle. The bridge is operated by the King County government. About 20,000 vehicles used the bridge daily, and it was a main connection to South Park's main business district.
The bridge was already in poor condition due to its 75 year age when it was further damaged by the Nisqually earthquake in 2001. In 2002, King County inspectors gave the bridge a score of 6 out of a possible 100, per Federal Highway Administration criteria, and the rating later fell to as low as 4. This compares to a score of 50 for the I-35W Mississippi River bridge, which collapsed in August 2007.
Due to lack of county, state and federal funding, the South Park Bridge closed on June 30, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. Although plans to build a new bridge were ready, the project did not receive a $99 million federal TIGER I grant in early 2010.
By working with state and local funding partners, King County secured $100 million toward the replacement of the South Park Bridge. In August 2010, the County submitted a grant application for $36.2 million in federal funds from the second round of federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER II) grants. On Oct. 15, 2010, it was announced that the South Park Bridge had been awarded $34 million in TIGER II financing, filling the funding gap and allowing work to replace the bridge to move forward. Construction is expected to last until 2013.
On May 5, 2011 South Park residents celebrated Cinco de Mayo and the groundbreaking on the replacement bridge by building a giant 26-foot long piñata designed to look like the South Park Bridge. King County Executive Dow Constantine, was joined by Gov. Chris Gregoire, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and other dignitaries at the groundbreaking ceremony.