City seeks federal funding for West Seattle Bridge project

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state's congressional delegation has started searching for ways to fund work needed on the West Seattle Bridge after engineers discovered growing infrastructure cracks.

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal has considered requesting money from two existing federal grant programs intended to help fund transportation projects, such as the bridge, KING-TV reported.

One of the programs called BUILD offers up to $25 million and focuses on smaller projects, most in rural areas, officials said. The other program called INFRA provides $100 million grants or more for larger projects.

“We’re looking at all avenues on how it’s paid for,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said. “Everything is on the table.”

It is too early to determine the cost or timeline on the project to repair or replace the bridge but it could reach hundreds of millions of dollars depending on the location, economic conditions and type of work, experts said.

The city has not yet decided on whether to repair the bridge or replace it, Durkan said.

Photos from the Seattle Department of Transportation revealed cracks that lengthened 5 feet (1.5 meters) since August, including 2 feet (0.6 meters) of growth from March 6 to March 23.

The department has since closed the bridge.