(Washington D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement marking the installation of a permanent replacement of the I-5 Skagit River Bridge, which collapsed on May 23rd, 2013.

“Since the Skagit River bridge collapsed in May, we've all been reminded of just how much we rely on a safe, efficient transportation system, so I’m thrilled that work is being completed to replace this crucial bridge along I-5.

“Every day, thousands of Washington state families rely on our roads and bridges to get to work, and businesses depend on them to move goods and grow, so it’s vitally important that we invest in transportation infrastructure to remain competitive, support key industries like aerospace, and prevent another tragic incident.

“If we don’t take action at the state and federal levels, the problems created by our aging infrastructure will only get worse.  That’s why I’m working hard in the Senate to make desperately-needed investments in our infrastructure, because crumbling roads and bridges across our country, including dozens more in Washington state, are in urgent need of repair or replacement.  This problem isn't going away, so I hope today’s good news can also serve as another reminder that we have more work to do.”

In June, Senator Murray and the Washington state congressional delegation announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) would make $15.6 million in emergency funds available to support repair and replacement of the I-5 Skagit River Bridge.

In the wake of the bridge collapse, Senator Murray, as Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, wrote and passed a transportation spending bill in the Senate Appropriations Committee that includes a new federal funding program to provide $500 million for bridges along vital corridors like I-5.  The Bridges in Critical Corridors (BRICC) program is the first federal effort to direct infrastructure investments specifically to bridges along corridors that are important to commerce. Currently, states are largely responsible for deciding which bridge projects receive federal funds.