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Proposed $16 billion transportation

Les Schwab Tires
Published:2022-02-08 State
Proposed $16 billion transportation    Print Snohomish Times    
Proposed $16 billion transportation

The House and Senate Transportation Committee chairs unveiled a proposed $16 billion transportation revenue package called Move Ahead Washington. This is good news for our agency, our transportation system and the people of our state.

This is an unusual step in a short session year and is an indication of the value and importance placed on our work. It also shows lawmakers’ understanding of the challenges we currently face. If approved, this proposed package will be an important investment in our transportation system and enable us to better fulfill our mission and enhance our multimodal transportation system for the people we serve.

Move Ahead Washington proposal
Funding for this proposed package won’t come from a direct tax at the gas pump, but rather includes a variety of revenue sources including an industry fuel export tax, some license and other fee increases and a combination of state and federal funding, such as Climate Commitment Act and federal infrastructure funding, deferral of sales tax on some capital projects and a one-time transfer from the state’s general fund. It will take time to dig into the specifics of the proposal, but at a very high-level the 16-year plan includes:

  • $1.3 billion towards Washington State Ferries’ vital work to build four new hybrid electric ferries and electrify two existing ships
  • $1.2 billion in active transportation models like Safe Routes to School, bike and pedestrian safety programs and school-based bike programs.
  • $3.1 billion in transit programs and investments, including funds to allow those 18 and under to ride free on all public transportation services
  • $3 billion towards highway preservation and maintenance to help us make progress toward reducing our preservation and maintenance backlog
  • $2.4 billion to fulfill the state’s obligation to replace fish passage culverts
  • $150 million toward Ultra-High-Speed Rail
  • $50 million for Connecting Communities to fund projects in communities that have had historic underinvestment in walking and biking infrastructure.
  • Some notable project funding including:
  • $1 billion to fund Washington’s portion of the I-5 Interstate Bridge Replacement program
  • $640 million to widen SR 18
  • $210 million for the US 2 Trestle
  • $380 million for I-405 Corridor Construction
  • $406 million for the SR 520 project
  • $434 million for SR 167/SR 509 Puget Sound Gateway project

This proposed revenue package confirms the Legislature’s faith in our ability to deliver this comprehensive investment. However, as you’re well aware, it will also bring additional work and challenges to meet these goals.

Please be mindful that funding – and work – will be spread over many years, so this will be much more of a marathon than a sprint. Thankfully, we have examples of our successful work on the Nickel, TPA and Connecting Washington packages as a roadmap.

For those of you worried about your workload, I want to let you know that we recognize that and we have been sharing those expectations with lawmakers and will work with the Legislature to identify a reasonable delivery schedule for the proposal.

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