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Lynnwood leaders celebrate RAISE grant for Poplar Way Extension Bridge

LYNNWOOD, Wash., August 18, 2022 – On Tuesday, August 16, Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) met with Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell and other City of Lynnwood officials to tour the future site of the Poplar Way Extension Bridge.

“Representative Rick Larson has just been amazing,” Mayor Frizzell told the Lynnwood Times when asked to share the relationship between the City and its federal partners. “He’s been here a few times with us on this and other projects. He’s invested in Lynnwood.”

On August 9, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded a $25 million grant to construct a new six-lane, multimodal bridge over I-5 in Lynnwood, between the intersections of 196th Street SW (State Route 524)/Poplar Way and 33rd Avenue W/Alderwood Mall Boulevard. DOT awarded the funding through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Discretionary Grant Program.

Rep Larsen shared that his office has an ongoing practice of proactively reaching out to cities and counties to remove barriers and understand “what are their priorities.”

“My philosophy has been that I’m not in the business of telling cities what their priorities ought to be,” Rep Larsen told the Lynnwood Times. “We’re trying to bring tools and resources to help the cities achieve their goals for their citizens and constituents.”

Poplar Way Bridge
(L-R) Lynnwood City Engineer David Mach, Director Bill Franz, Mayor Christine Frizzell, Rep. Rick Larsen, Director David Kleitsch and Karl Almgren at the future Poplar Way Bridge construction site to celebrate their hard work in securing a $25 million RAISE grant for Poplar Way Extension Bridge.

Mayor Frizzell added, “We [Lynnwood] represent less than 8% of the population, but we produced over 30% of the sales tax in the county. People come here for a reason. They come here to shop, they come here to work, they come here to play. We need to be able to help them move around our city better.”

City engineer David Mach told the Lynnwood Times that the Poplar Way Extension Bridge will not only improve safety for vehicles navigating to Lynnwood destinations it will also alleviate congestion and backups on the 196th Street SW off- ramps and overcrossings.

“I think the numbers were around 30,000 cars per day,” Mach said when asked how many vehicles are expected to utilize the new bridge. “Those are trips that are currently driving our streets on all our other bridges and crossings. So, this project will reduce the congestion.”

The standard concrete bridge is wrapping up the design stage and a right of way acquisition and is expected to break ground in 2024 that will take a year-and-a-half to build. The City still has to place a call for construction bids and is in the process of applying for additional grant funds.

Poplar Way Bridge
Source: City of Lynnwood.

The total cost of the bridge is projected at approximately $50 million. In addition to the RAISE grant, the City was awarded $10 million by the state earlier this year and plans to allocate up to $7 million in city funds for the project.

Poplar Way Bridge
Mayor Christine Frizzell (second-right) congratulating her staff on their hard work on getting the $25 million RAISE grant for Poplar Way Extension Bridge. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

In total, U.S.  Dept. of Transportation awarded more than $2.2 billion to 166 infrastructure projects throughout the county of which Washington state was awarded $97.74 million in RAISE grants in 2022.  Other jurisdictions in 2022 receiving the grant are listed below:

  • Whatcom County, Lummi Island Ferry Replacement and System Modernization Project, $25,000,000
  • Spokane, Pines Road/BNSF Grade Separation Project, $21,689,221
  • Bothell, Bothell Way NE Multimodal Improvements, $19,000,000
  • WSDOT, Reconnecting I-90 Communities, $5,000,000
  • Pullman, Airport Road Multimodal & Regional Access Improvements, $1,050,000
  • WSDOT, Heritage Connectivity Trails – Phase 1, $1,000,000

RAISE is a federal program dedicated to investing in critical road, rail, transit, and port projects across the United States. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was passed by the House and signed into law in November of 2021, increased funding for the grant program to a total of $7.5 billion. “We’re continually scrubbing the infrastructure bill that we passed last year to find more funding opportunities for our cities,” Rep. Larsen said.

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