Washougal seeks grant for underpass project

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The city of Washougal will apply for a grant to acquire funding for its 32nd Street underpass project.

During a virtual meeting on Monday, June 28, city council members approved a resolution that authorizes City Manager David Scott to file an application seeking grant funding for $1,520,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program to offset design and engineering costs associated with the planned reconstruction of 32nd Street from Main Street and “B” Street to F Place.

“We’re hopeful that we’ll have a successful grant and get that project fully designed, and then we can go chase the big money for this project,” Scott said during the meeting. “And we’re still holding out hope that somehow in an infrastructure package or the state transportation budget that our legislative friends at the federal and state level will be able to come through, even when we’re in (the) design (phase), because it’s a very important and worthy project. But as you can imagine, the competition is pretty stiff.”

The resolution also indicates that the city will commit $380,000, “which is largely financed by state transportation budget appropriation,” according to Scott, to complete the project if it acquires the RAISE grant.

The project is in the early design stages, according to Scott.

“This is a super high priority for the council, and because it’s a super high priority for the council, we’ve been doing everything we can to try to fund it,” Scott said. “It’s really great to get a project fully designed so that you’re much more competitive in the construction funding grant domain. We would be premature for (to apply for a) RAISE grant to build this project, but well-suited, hopefully, to be successful for a planning grant so we could design it.”