The Army Corps of Engineers has signed off on Richland’s $38 million Duportail Bridge project.
The Corps’ Walla Walla district announced Tuesday it issued a “Finding of No Significant Impact” for the project, which will carry Duportail Street across the Yakima River, between downtown and Queensgate.
The finding follows a public comment period in August brought about by a change in the construction plans.
Richland also is updating its funding for the project, a move that dramatically reduces the need for local money to support the project.
The city adopted a $20 car license surcharge in May to help pay its share of the bridge cost as well as street maintenance. The fee takes effect in 2018.
According to the most recent funding roundup, posted last week, the city thinks it will receive $31.5 million from state programs and about $2.7 million in federal money.
The car tab fee will help support the city’s $1.6 million share of the bridge’s construction.
That is down from the initial $4 million estimate Richland had, after the city received more state grants than initially projected.
Richland expects to spend an additional $7.25 million to install water lines along the bridge to improve the reliability and security of its water system. The water portion of the project will be paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the city’s water utility customers.
The Corps plans to issue real estate instruments to the city allowing it to construct, operate and maintain the bridge on some Corps-managed federal land adjacent the Yakima River.
An environmental assessment led by the Federal Highway Administration and the Washington Department of Transportation indicated the bridge will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment.
The city hopes to begin construction by late this year and to open the bridge by 2020 to connect the Queensgate area to the downtown corridor.