Gregoire to propose major transportation package

  • By Rachel La Corte And Mike Baker Associated Press
  • Tuesday, December 11, 2012 4:31pm
  • Local NewsNorthwest

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Chris Gregoire said Tuesday she is preparing a new transportation package that would rival the multi-billion-dollar deal she helped approve in 2005.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Gregoire said that she will detail her plan during a budget proposal next week. The 2005 package included a 9.5-cent gas tax increase and other revenues that were slated to total $7 billion over the span of 16 years.

Gregoire says there are great needs to fund basic maintenance of the Washington’s transportation infrastructure. The state is also looking to pay for major projects such as the Columbia River Crossing in Vancouver, the 520 bridge in Seattle and the North Spokane Corridor.

The Democrat hadn’t settled on how the projects will be funded. Gregoire said she’d be having a meeting on Wednesday to discuss possible funding options for a transportation package, and she said a gas tax is in the mix.

“You can’t take that off the table,” she said, noting that there a limited number of places you can look for transportation money. “The only things that give you a decent amount of money are things like the gas tax.”

A spokesman for Gov.-elect Jay Inslee wouldn’t say he supports Gregoire’s proposal.

“We are working on a number of things, including a legislative agenda,” said spokesman Sterling Clifford. Inslee said during the campaign that he would veto tax increases but indicated that he would support asking voters to approve a transportation package with revenues.

Gregoire said that her conversations with Inslee have included discussions about the state’s transportation needs.

“A lot of people want a transportation package,” she said. “I’ve really focused on that in my conversations with him.”

Gregoire said that she would have a proposed transportation budget to release alongside her general budget next Tuesday. She said that while all of the road projects are important, she stressed that any transportation package is “going to have to be dominated by maintenance and operation.”

The 2005 gas tax package that Gregoire helped usher into law helped provide funding for more than 200 projects around the state, including cash for the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement, money to replace bridges and projects targeted at fixing congestion.

More in Local News

Lynnwood plans $12M in sewer improvements

The city wants to be ready for an anticipated population boom around the mall and light rail.

Driver dies in apparent high-speed crash near Snohomish

A passerby found the severely damaged car off Chain Lake Road Saturday night.

Jim and Marcia Hashman during a visit to the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe in 2014. Jim Hashman, who taught music at Mountlake Terrace High School in the 1980s and ’90s, died Jan. 31, after struggling with ALS for several years. (Herald file)
Despite ALS, he lived his life with joy and purpose

Former Mountlake Terrace High School music teacher Jim Hashman died Jan. 31.

Failing embankment on Marine Drive awaiting permanent fix

In the meantime, a 20 mph speed limit is in effect at the spot south of Norman Road.

Pair now face federal charges in pot shop heist

They are being prosecuted on robbery, drugs and weapons violations.

Families feel betrayed after wrongful death bill falls short

Rejection of proposed changes in the law angered and shocked parents who lost adult children.

New 116th interchange enters final phase

The Tulalip-led project will ease backups at the I-5 overpass.

Driver hospitalized after I-5 rollover crash near Arlington

A medical problem is believed to have caused the accident.

Man struck, killed by Everett Transit bus Friday night

He was in the roadway between 75th Street SE and Beverly Boulevard when he was hit, police said.

Most Read