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

Longboarders from near and far hit the trail in Arlington

The Centennial Sk8 Festival was serious competition for some and just for fun for others.

Signs show the rates for using the express toll lanes for traffic headed southbound on Interstate 405, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, in Bothell, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee announced plans Tuesday to try to decrease congestion on I-405 in answer to commuter complaints that the new express lane tolling system is making traffic worse. The governor said he would not be shutting down the tolling system as some people have called for. But the state transportation department is making plans to add new northbound general purpose lanes to ease some of the congestion and also plan to make it easier to move into and out of the express lanes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
After a 2-year trial, are I-405’s toll lanes here to stay?

Lawmakers will decide whether to keep them or end the experiment and try something else.

Weary drivers using toll lanes say they have little choice

Congestion continues to be a tedious reality for commuters on I-405, which is as clogged as ever.

Council passes six-month moratorium on safe injection sites

Proposal by County Councilman Nate Nehring passed unanimously.

Terrace woman held following collision in Everett

The three occupants in vehicle were transported to a local hospital in serious condition.

Information sought on drive-by shooting in Everett

Debris from an apparent crash, evidence of gunfire found in the 2800 block of California Street.

Crews recover body of man who fell over Wallace Falls

The area where the man fell is called Sky Valley Lookout, 2.4 miles from the parking lot.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

This week’s Herald Super Kid is Nathan Nicholson of Snohomish High School. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
‘The future is biotech,’ but for now he’s busy with everything

Snohomish senior Nathan Nicholson is a student leader and media master.

Most Read