Construction hopes here hinge on congressional, presidential action

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KENT, Wash. — They are promises that can’t possibly be water under the bridge.

Because the bridges need repairs all across Washington.

A new study (https://artbabridgereport.org/) by the road construction group American Road & Transportation Builders Association ranks states by how structurally sound their bridges are. Washington is in the middle of the pack. But nearly 5 percent of all bridges in the state are in serious need of repair.

The study found one of those is the bridge over the Green River in Kent on South 212th. It’s been around since the Kennedy administration and sees 35,000 crossings a day.

The city, county and state have been waiting on promises from the feds for help.

“And we're going to see all the way into the future. And the future's going to be beautiful. And the future's going to be bright,” Donald Trump said in June 2016.

The White House announced "Infrastructure Week" in June 2017 to push for billions in new grants and spending.

Zero details have been forthcoming since then.

Tuesday’s speech can clear that up and planners here can start making wish lists.

Big needs have been met, though.

After major failings like the Skagit River Bridge, and billions of dollars in revamps for the I-90 and 520 bridges, the industry study exposes the little secret about bridge safety.

Some of them don't get inspections for two years.

WSDOT said that's by design.

The agency said it has a rotating inspection schedule for state-owned bridges rather than getting them all done at once.

A lot can happen in two years with harsh weather and wear and tear.

But hopefully help is on the way, finally, from the other Washington.

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