King County’s new South Park drawbridge will open to traffic June 30, after four years of dead-end streets at the longtime Duwamish River crossing.
The bridge is expected to carry 20,000 vehicles a day, including 3,000 freight trucks near Boeing Field. “Not only will this help local manufacturers and family-owned businesses, it will reunite working communities in the Lower Duwamish area,” said an announcement by King County Executive Dow Constantine.
The original drawbridge was built in 1931, on wooden pilings in sandy riverfront soil, and was closed as a safety hazard in 2010. By then, the foundations were drifting slightly in opposite directions, and the bridge rated a 4 on the federal government’s 100-point scale.
The new bridge includes bike lanes, pedestrian walkways, and a solid concrete deck that will channel polluted runoff into a rain garden below.
The return of traffic should improve local business income and reduce the hassles of long detours, though the neighborhood will lose some peace and quiet.
Construction is on schedule under a $96 million contract with the Kiewit-Massman partnership. The entire budget is $161 million, which includes engineering, old-bridge demolition, and environmental cleanup. Money comes from a mix of local and federal funds, including a $34 million TIGER stimulus grant.