After three years of negotiations, the legislature was finally able to pass a comprehensive transportation revenue package this session. The $16.1 billion package funds important projects and programs across our state, creating 100,000 jobs over the next sixteen years. As the Chair of the Transportation Committee, I am proud to say that these investments will help combat congestion, grow our economy, and move our state forward.
This is an important step forward for Washington, but it’s also great news for the 41st Legislative District and the Puget Sound region. The package includes funding for the completion of the 520 bridge, which is an integral part of our transportation network around Lake Washington. That also means that all plans and proposals to toll the I-90 Bridge are officially dead, ensuring our community remains affordable and accessible to all.
There is also $1.2 billion investment in widening I-405 all the way from Renton to Lynnwood, which will save commuters countless hours in traveling time as they travel to work and school. Funding for maintenance and preservation work – important for keeping roads safe and reliable – receives a much needed $1.4 billion boost.
Finally, this package will cut down on gridlock by investing nearly $1 billion into transportation choices like rail, transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. Local governments will have expanded options to improve public transit. Most importantly, Sound Transit now has the full authority to go to the voters with a funding package that will expand predictable, reliable light rail transit.
Our economy depends on businesses being able to efficiently transport goods and products to markets both local and international. Commuters need to be able to get to their jobs without wasting time and money stuck in traffic. By modernizing our transportation system, House Democrats are building and economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few.