The Public Works Board (PWB) of Washington State has recently sanctioned $5.1m for vital infrastructure initiatives across eight communities. Among these allocations are $2m designated for urgent construction undertakings and approximately $3.1m for pre-construction endeavours.

These emergency construction projects will address various needs in Klickitat, Pend Oreille, and Pierce counties.

During its December 2023 business meeting, the PWB authorized $1m for emergency construction initiatives in Klickitat and Pend Oreille counties:

1. City of Bingen: $600,000 allocated for emergency funding toward the East Steuben Waterline Replacement project. This endeavour aims to replace 900 linear feet of deteriorated 2-inch steel pipe. The affected segment of the pipeline runs adjacent to a gas pipeline. Additionally, the Washington State Department of Transportation will facilitate a connection across State Route 14 as part of a neighbouring project, enabling the city to cap and decommission a section of the failing pipeline.

2. City of Metaline Falls: $400,000 designated for emergency funding to stabilise an embankment along the Pend Oreille River, which faces imminent threat. The embankment is situated directly beneath a sewer lift station and associated sewer lines. Failure of the lift station or sewer lines due to erosion could result in an overflow of more than 30,000 gallons of untreated sewage into the salmon-bearing river.

During its January 2024 business meeting, the PWB sanctioned an additional $1m for an emergency construction endeavour in Pierce County:

City of Tacoma: $1m allocated for emergency funding to address collision damage sustained by the Hybelos Bridge. In October 2023, a tug towing a fuel barge collided with and demolished the west bridge fender. This collision resulted in complete loss of the piles, timbers, fender, and navigational lighting, all of which are vital components for ensuring bridge safety. In response, the US Coast Guard mandated the city to promptly replace the damaged components to regain regulatory compliance. The funding provided by the PWB will facilitate the restoration of the bridge to compliance standards and the resumption of normal shipping traffic following the completion of the project’s review by the Coast Guard.

During its February business meeting, the PWB granted an additional $3.1m for six pre-construction projects aimed at enhancing domestic water and sanitary sewer systems across five counties. The PWB Pre-Construction program is designed to expedite project readiness for the construction phase and aid in planning efforts. The provisionally awarded projects are outlined as follows:

Chelan County:

– City of Wenatchee: $200,000 allocated for Roosevelt Avenue Utility Improvements Planning

Clallam County:

– PUD #1 of Clallam County: $175,000 designated for Clallam Bay/Sekiu Phase 3 Water Infrastructure Upgrades

Franklin County:

– City of Pasco: $1m granted for Butterfield Water Treatment Plan Improvements Project 1

Skagit County:

– City of Mount Vernon:

– $650,000 provided for the 2025 Comprehensive Sewer Plan Update

– $750,000 allocated for a combined sewer separation feasibility study

Wahkiakum County:

– PUD #1 of Wahkiakum County: $300,000 awarded for the Puget Island Water System Preconstruction project

Board Chair Kathryn Gardow said: “Infrastructure is fundamental and the foundation of healthy, safe and vibrant communities.

“The Washington State Public Works Board is delighted to work with our communities and partner agencies to be a reliable and affordable source of funding and technical assistance to maintain the health of our state’s infrastructure systems. The Board is pleased to be able to fund these emergency awards quickly and in a timely manner. Pre-construction contracts are so important to jurisdictions to help them get ready to apply for construction funding.”

The PWB foresees the commencement of its next construction funding cycle in the spring of 2024, boasting approximately $148m in accessible resources. Funding opportunities for pre-construction and emergency construction projects are continuously available from the PWB until all allocated funds are depleted.