Federal funding provides SDOT $15m to improve city bridges including 15th and Leary overpass

A federal transportation program has just awarded Seattle $15 million to make improvements to three city bridges, including the north end of the Ballard Bridge at 15th Ave NW and Leary Way NW.

The funding for the upgrades comes from the Federal Highway Administration Bridge Improvement Program, which is funded in part by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and then passed to the WSDOT’s Local Bridge Program.

The funding will go to three total bridges: the 15th Ave NW and NW Leary Way Bridge, S Spokane Street Viaduct, and the Jose Rizal Bridge.

SDOT says the average age of bridges in Seattle is 60 years old, with some bridges—including the Ballard Bridge—built over a century ago.

Here is how the funding breaks down between the three bridges:

  • 15th Ave NW and Leary Way NW Bridge in Ballard: $4.5 million – earthquake safety upgrades (*note: this is adjacent to the Ballard Bridge. The 15th Avenue NW and Leary Way NW Bridge is the bridge that vehicles continue onto.)
  • S Spokane Street Viaduct (connects the West Seattle Bridge to I-5 and runs above S Spokane St in the SoDo neighborhood) – $5 million – repairs to the existing deck
  • Jose Rizal Bridge North segment (12th Ave S over S Dearborn Street and I-90) – $5 million – remove existing lead paint and repaint the bridge

This is the first time SDOT has received funding from the bridge improvement program.