Friday, February 15, 2013
Contact: Nancy Singer
FHWA Administrator Mendez Participates in Rededication of the Murray Morgan Bridge
TACOMA, Wash. – Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez today participated in a ceremony for the reopening of the Murray Morgan Bridge, marking the return of a vital transportation link for commuters and businesses here.
The bridge, which was closed in 2007 for safety reasons, represents an important link between downtown Tacoma and the Port of Tacoma. Located on Commencement Bay, the port is a major center for international trade and industrial shipping in the Pacific Northwest.
“In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on us to ‘Fix it First’ by focusing on infrastructure projects that will create jobs and help businesses first,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Getting this bridge open will help Tacoma with their plans to revitalize their waterfront, attract new businesses and create good jobs.”
About 5,000 vehicles use the bridge each day which spans the Thea Foss Waterway. The Waterway was once a thriving industrial port area that is now part of a planned 1.5 mile waterfront community in downtown Tacoma that will include parks, residences, businesses and hotels.
“The restored bridge will improve access to downtown and commercial areas, which will help freight shippers using the port and in turn strengthen the local economy,” Administrator Mendez said.
The renovated bridge includes a new deck and mechanical and electrical systems to operate the lift span and offers continued access for pedestrians at street level with an added elevator and new stairs. In addition, two lanes were converted to bicycle and pedestrian pathways.
FHWA provided $46 million in federal-aid funding toward the total project cost of $53 million.
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