Walla Walla County to receive federal funds for bridge work

Federal funds are on the way for work on bridges in Walla Walla County.

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WALLA WALLA -- Two bridge projects in Walla Walla County have been slated for federal aid.

The county will receive about $2.8 million from the Federal Highway Bridge program to help replace bridges on the Gardena-Touchet Road and on Woodward Canyon Road. The projects were among 47 selected for funding statewide.

The awards were announced last week by the state Department of Transportation.

The bulk of the money, about $2.4 million, will go toward replacement of the Gardena Bridge, a 150-foot span over the Walla Walla River. The second project will replace the Goble Bridge, a 43-foot span.

Both bridges are rated as "structurally deficient," said David Eids, chief of engineering for the county Public Works Department. Although the bridges are safe, both have structural problems that mean they must be replaced.

The federal funds will pay about 80 percent of the replacement cost, Eids said. Planning and design work likely will begin in 2011.

In a release, Kathleen Davis, WSDOT director of Highways and Local Programs, said the state will receive $80.6 million for bridge projects. Walla Walla County's application was among 69 reviewed by the department and the state Bridge Replacement Advisory Committee.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318. Check out his blog at blogs.ublabs.org/randomthoughts.

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