The State of Washington’s recently approved construction budget features an item that “will go quite a long way toward helping rebuild a significant piece of the Brier infrastructure,” according to state Rep. Derek Stanford.
Stanford worked during this past legislative session to win support for an $800,000 appropriation in the supplemental 2011-2013 capital budget to assist in paying for a new Scriber Creek Pedestrian Bridge. This updated construction budget won final legislative approval near the very end of the recent special session.
A December 2007 flood damaged the bridge, he said.
“Those devastating flood waters eroded the creek bank. In fact, the creek bank took such a battering that two of the four pilings supporting the bridge were exposed,” Stanford explained.
“I’d like to express my appreciation to Rep. Stanford and his staff for their efforts assisting the City of Brier to acquire the funding needed for this project,” said Brier Mayor Bob Colinas. “The city will now be able to make the repairs ensuring that the bridge, sewer line and the fragile ecosystem of Scriber Creek will be maintained.”
Nicole Gaudette, Brier City Planner, said that “rebuilding the Scriber Creek Bridge will protect salmon-bearing waters, critical infrastructure, a pedestrian pathway, and the public health. The state’s partnership in funding this project is crucial to its success.”
The Scriber Creek Pedestrian Bridge not only provides a major trail link in Brier, it also carries a sewer pipe over Scriber Creek, which is a salmon-bearing waterway. As an emergency measure after the flood, a rock wall was installed to protect the exposed pilings and prevent the bridge from falling.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials have declared that the rock wall can serve only as an emergency provision, which means that it must be removed fairly soon to prevent further damage to fish habitat. So when the rock wall is taken out, the bridge and sewer pipe are once again vulnerable if there’s another flood. And if that happens, the sewage dumped in Scriber Creek would pollute the water, the waters downstream and, eventually, Lake Washington.
According to Stanford, the state’s capital budget emphasizes public-school improvements, among other construction work. The budget will help leverage federal, local and private funding, and it also helps preserve and maintain state facilities. Since it is primarily funded by the sale of bonds, it “doesn’t do anything to add to the serious shortfall currently confronting our state’s biennial operating budget,” he said.