Billig, Ormsby and Riccelli: Pausing construction of the North Spokane Corridor Lacks Key Democratic Support

OLYMPIA — Spokane’s 3rd Legislative District delegation — Sen. Andy Billig and Reps. Timm Ormsby and Marcus Riccelli — issued the statement below following the proposed pause of the North Spokane Corridor project in the Governor’s transportation budget plan:

“We were disappointed to see the Governor’s transportation budget proposal suggest a pause in construction of the North Spokane Corridor (NSC).  Simply put, this decision does not have our support, nor does it have the support of people across Spokane and Eastern Washington who for years have been waiting for the completion of this vital project.

“Thankfully the Governor’s budget is only a recommendation, and it is the legislature that will ultimately create and pass the final budget.

“A pause in construction would cost taxpayers significantly more money in the long-run and delay the positive benefits of this project for our region. It is also important to point out that any pause of the NSC will negatively impact the transformative North Division “Division Connects” project  — a key improvement that will dramatically improve the North Division corridor. This project is closely tied to the NSC and cannot be completed before the NSC is operational.

“We will not support any proposal that pauses a safer, quicker, and less congested north-south route that connects to I-90. It simply does not make sense to halt a project that will not only pay for itself in economic impact, but also benefit our state with significantly reduced travel time and emissions.

“We will continue to work with our legislative colleagues and community partners to ensure NSC is funded at the level necessary for it to be completed as fast as possible.”

Sen. Andy Billig, Reps. Timm Ormsby and Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, represent the 3rd Legislative District.