Monroe voters support better streets

MONROE — Monroe voters appeared to be approving a $7.2 million bond aimed at paying for key road projects in the city, according to the early vote returns on Tuesday evening.

The biggest transportation bond in Monroe’s history was leading with 1,478 votes to 1,144 as of Tuesday. The measure requires a simple majority to pass.

“I’m encouraged by the early returns,” Monroe City Councilman Mitch Ruth said, adding that the measure was still too early to call.

If approved, the bond should be “a huge step” toward improving Monroe’s traffic problems, Ruth said.

“I think people see something different from what they’ve seen in the past,” he said.

The bond would cost less than $9 per month for the owner of a $375,000 home. The payments are expected to continue over the next 20 years.

The bond, combined with other revenue sources, is expected to pay for eight road projects to ease congestion and improve safety on city roads in Monroe. Three highways — U.S. 2, Highway 522 and Highway 203 — intersect in Monroe, carrying thousands of vehicles in and out of the growing city of about 16,000 people.

One project would build a roundabout, also known as a traffic circle, at the intersection of W. Main Street and Fryelands Boulevard. The price tag for the project is about $1.12 million. Another project would spend $1.9 million improving the intersection of Blueberry Lane and N. Kelsey Street. That’s considered the most expensive project funded by the bond.

All eight projects are included in the city’s transportation plan.

Voters seem to be approving the bond because it pays specific projects, which would help commuters save on gas, Ruth said.

“I believe that they see the payoff for the investment,” he said.

Reporter Yoshiaki Nohara: 425-339-3029 or ynohara@heraldnet.com.

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