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Sen. Murray: Funds on the way to fix Skagit River bridge

Crews are assembling a temporary bridge over the collapsed span across the Skagit River. (WSDOT)

The U.S. Transportation Department announced Thursday that the federal government will pay the full $17.8 million cost to repair the damaged I-5 Skagit River bridge.

Senator Patty Murray revealed the funding pledge at the start of a meeting of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, of which she is the chairperson.

“I just got off the phone with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. He had some great news for my state and told me that the department of transportation is releasing the rest of the seed funds needed to repair the Skagit River bridge,” Murray announced.

Murray chaired the meeting to talk about how to pay for improvements to crumbling highways and bridges across the country.

It’s estimated that the federal government would need to spend $100 billion each year to maintain the nation’s infrastructure and another $150 billion to make needed improvements.

Sen. Murray also took the opportunity to urge state lawmakers to approve funding for the Columbia River Crossing project, replacing the I-5 bridge between Vancouver, Wash. and Portland.

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