OGWRP Bridges Update: Pushing the Reset Button

OGWRP Bridges Update: Pushing the Reset Button

While replacing Odessa Ground Water Replacement Project bridges remains a need and focus, in Adams County, some other changes are currently the priority. Two new commissioners are coming in, and one of the
people most responsible for recent progress on bridge replacement is leaving town.

Funds are always limited in Adams County, so the hunt is always on for agencies who can help share the cost of major undertakings. Replacing all OGWRP bridges (eight in Adams County, two in Grant County) is a big undertaking, but it
is the necessary final step of canal expansion in order to increase water delivery capacity to OGWRP lands.

People like the county’s former Economic Development Director (and former League trustee) Stephen McFadden, as well as State Sen. Judy Warnick tried hard to get the project started in a feasible manner.

In 2018, their efforts led to inclusion of OGWRP bridges in the state supplemental transportation budget. The result
was more than $100,000 to help Adams County come up with designs for new bridges.

The hope was to use the bridge designs as the basis for an application for a federal TIGER (Transportation Investment
Generating Economic Recovery) grant, now called BUILD (Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development)

Initial efforts were not successful, however.

Now McFadden is moving to Pasco. Plus, with two new county commissioners, longtime Adams County resident Jay Weise and former chair of the state’s association of wheat growers, Dan Blankenship, there are many changes taking place among the people running the County and it may be a while until the plan to replace the bridges picks up steam again.

Adams County will need to be onboard as they are the actual grant applicant, and it will take more than one round of grants to get it done.

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