State awards $2.5M to fix two of Whatcom's worst bridges

Money to replace of two of Whatcom County’s most deficient bridges came in last week, the Department of Transportation announced on Friday, Dec. 12.

The bridges on West Badger Road over Bertrand Creek and Roberts Road over Anderson Creek will be replaced after 2016, with money from the state’s Bridge Replacement Advisory Committee.

The committee awarded $1.43 million to the Badger Road bridge and $1.1 million to the bridge on Roberts Road. That leaves about $300,000 in project costs for each bridge that will be covered by the county, said James Lee, county bridge and hydraulic manager.

The Roberts Road bridge is scheduled to be replaced in 2017 and the Badger Road bridge in 2018, Lee said. The bridges are two of the eight slated for replacement on the county’s transportation project list for 2015-20.

“Both of these bridges are high on our list for replacement as they have sufficiency rating less than 40 and are considered structurally deficient,” Lee said.

The ratings help the state identify which bridges are in line for repair or replacement; they do not indicate the potential for a bridge to collapse, according to the DOT.

Whatcom County was successful on the only two grant applications it submitted to the bridge committee.

“We were optimistic that these two projects would be successful,” Lee said. “Whatcom County has a good track record in recent years in successfully pursuing (bridge committee) funds.”

The committee annually awards grants to replace or repair city and county bridges in Washington. This month, the committee gave $70 million to fix 32 bridges in the state.