Completion of State Routes 167 and 509 the North-South Corridor in Spokane and the west end of the 520 bridge – projects decades in the making – will actually come to pass thanks to final passage of the comprehensive transportation-funding package.
Thanks to a relentless push by AGC and allies in the labor environmental and broader business community the 16-year $16.1 billion package passed with $1.3 billion for preservation and maintenance nearly $9 billion for new projects $1 billion for multimodal projects $300 million for fish passage/culvert work and more. Click here for the project list and click here for the balance sheet that includes the funding sources.
Last Friday the Legislature passed the remaining elements of the package. The revenue bill including an 11.9-cent gas-tax increase (seven cents now 4.9 cents next year) and other fee increases passed a couple weeks ago. However the spending bill and the bill authorizing the sale of bonds were hung-up due to legislative battles over the class-size initiative. Once that matter was resolved the transportation bills sailed through.
“This is an enormous victory for AGC” said AGC Executive Vice President David D’Hondt. “Not only will it provide thousands of jobs for highway contractors the economic expansion it will spur will create thousands of more jobs in the private-construction sector. Thanks to the many AGC members who met with legislators made calls sent emails and letters to keep sending the message that the transportation package will ease congestion facilitate economic growth improve the environment and enhance the quality of life in the state.”