OLYMPIA—Last night the House Transportation Committee approved amended versions of both the Transportation Revenue bill, ESSB 5987, on a 17-8 vote, and the Transportation spending bill, ESSB 5988, on a 16-9 vote.
Dozens of amendments were offered in the 3.5 hour executive session; among those approved were projects and improvements sponsored by Snohomish area lawmakers Reps. Mike Sells, Lillian Ortiz-Self and Luis Moscoso, which focused specifically on the Snohomish area, totaling $152 million worth of transportation projects.
“These don’t come around very often, it’s been a decade since the last transportation revenue package was passed,” said Rep. Mike Sells, D-Everett, chair of the House Labor Committee and who’s held a seat on the Transportation Committee during eight of his ten years in office. “At this point, with so much at stake for our communities and our region’s economic future, we had to ensure these projects were on the list.”
Sells’ amendments include I-5 improvements between Everett and Marysville, which will provide much needed morning and evening peak hour congestion relief, and expediting funding for the Everett Freight Corridor to accommodate the movement of oversized aircraft parts from the Port of Everett.
“I am very grateful to be part of the Snohomish County House Transportation Team, with Representatives Mike Sells and Luis Moscoso,” said Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self, D-Mukilteo, vice chair of the Education Committee. “Last night we joined forces to ensure that the projects needed to keep Snohomish County economically competitive were put in the House transportation package. These projects will address safety and capacity issues while bringing hundreds of jobs into our area.”
Ortiz-Self’s amendments include a design, engineering and HOT lanes study for the US2 Trestle; design funding for increased capacity and safety improvements on SR 99 in Edmonds; and the Harbor Reach Extension Project, which will improve freight mobility and connectivity near SR 525 and Paine Field.
“I was pleased to secure several amendments to the House transportation revenue package which provides much-needed funding for Snohomish County that had been missing previously. The improvements to I-5 near Marysville and the junction between 522 and Paradise Lake Road will create good, middle class jobs and relieve congestion in our region,” said the vice chair of the House Transportation Committee, Rep. Luis Moscoso, D-Mountlake Terrace.
The new interchange project on 116th St and I-5 in the Marysville and Tulalip area will lead to the development of 675,000 square feet of retail space and 4 million square feet of light industrial and warehouse space which, together, will lead to 7,000 direct new jobs and $1.7 billion in annual economic output when fully built out.
Moscoso’s other amendment will provide design funding for the construction of a new interchange at SR 522 and Paradise Lake Road. This is the first step towards improving a notoriously dangerous and frequently gridlocked part of the highway that links Highway 2 and I-405.
Negotiations are now underway between the House and Senate to reach an agreement between their two proposals.