THE WEEKLY HERALD   EVERETT, WASHINGTON
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Brier bridge part of final state capital budget

By Evan Smith
Herald writer
Proposed state money to repair* a damaged bridge over Scriber Creek in Brier is part of the state capital budget approved at the end of the special legislative session.
Democratic state Rep. Derek Stanford announced in early March that money for the bridge was part of the proposed capital budget, but the budget wasn't approved until the end of the special legislative session.
Stanford said early this week that the money would “go quite a long way toward helping rebuild a significant piece of the Brier infrastructure."
Stanford said that he had worked during the legislative session to win support for an $800,000 appropriation in the supplemental 2011-2013 capital budget to assist in paying for a new Scriber Creek Pedestrian Bridge. This updated construction budget won final legislative approval near the very end of the recent special session.
The flood in December 2007 damaged the bridge, he said.
"Those devastating flood waters eroded the creek bank," Stanford explained. "In fact, the creek bank took such a battering that two of the four pilings supporting the bridge were exposed."
Brier Mayor Bob Colinas said last week, "The city will now be able to make the repairs ensuring that the bridge, sewer line and the fragile ecosystem of Scriber Creek will be maintained."
Brier city planner Nicole Gaudette said, "Rebuilding the Scriber Creek Bridge will protect salmon-bearing waters, critical infrastructure, a pedestrian pathway and the public health. The state's partnership in funding this project is crucial to its success."
The Scriber Creek Pedestrian Bridge not only provides a major trail link in Brier, it also carries a sewer pipe over Scriber Creek, which is a salmon-bearing waterway.
As an emergency measure after the flood, a rock wall was installed to protect the exposed pilings and prevent the bridge from falling.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials have declared that the rock wall can serve only as an emergency provision, which means that it must be removed fairly soon to prevent further damage to fish habitat. So when the rock wall is taken out, the bridge and sewer pipe are once again vulnerable if there's another flood. And if that happens, the sewage dumped in Scriber Creek would pollute the water, the waters downstream and, eventually, Lake Washington.
Stanford said top principles in the capital budget, which this year is also called the "Jobs Now! Act," emphasize public-school improvements, among other construction work. The budget will help leverage federal, local and private funding, and it also helps preserve and maintain state facilities.
He also noted that the capital budget “is primarily funded by the sale of bonds, and doesn't do anything to add to the serious shortfall currently confronting our state's biennial operating budget.”
Stanford represents the 1st Legislative District, including Brier, Bothell, most of Mountlake Terrace and unincorporated areas of Snohomish and King counties, north, south and east of Bothell.
Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com.
*Correction, April 27, 2012:This article originally used an incorrect word.