Package funding U.S. 2 trestle, Monroe bypass on the move

A $17.8 billion plan dealing with highways, ferries and transit has cleared the state Senate transportation panel.

OLYMPIA — A $17.8 billion statewide transportation package cleared the first legislative hurdle Wednesday.

The Democrat-led Senate Transportation Committee approved three bills underlying the plan — one containing programs and projects, another detailing sources of revenue to pay for them and a third concerning the sale of bonds to carry out construction. All three passed without Republican support.

Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, the committee chair and chief architect, said he hopes GOP senators will reconsider their positions when the measures reach the floor. “Deep down inside your heart you know what’s right,” he said.

The proposal, which spans 16 years, contains $1.8 billion to replace the aging westbound span of the U.S. 2 trestle between Lake Stevens and Everett; $90 million to widen a three-mile stretch of Highway 522 between Monroe and Maltby; $58.5 million to complete the Monroe bypass; and $58.2 million for widening of Highway 9 north of Clearview.

It also allots money to pay Washington’s share of a new I-5 bridge across the Columbia River, remove state-owned culverts, build new state ferries, bolster public transit systems and tackle projects in every legislative district in the state.

To cover the tab, the package counts on $5.2 billion from a 9.8-cent hike in the gas tax and $5.1 billion from a proposed carbon emissions cap-and-trade program. Smaller sums are pencilled in from roughly two dozen new or higher taxes and fees.

There’s a statewide assessment on new construction, a hike in the sales tax on auto parts and a boost to the rental car tax. Also on the list is a new per-trip fee on food delivery and ride-share services such as DoorDash and Uber and increases in weight fees, license plate charges and the excise tax on boats 16 feet and longer.

During Wednesday’s hearing, the committee agreed to axe a proposed hike in the watercraft excise tax and to delay the start of the fee on for-hire ride services from next January to January 2023.

An amendment was put forth to remove per trip fees on food delivery and for-hire ride services and replace them with a new one-time air quality surcharge on new vehicles. It failed.

Senate bills 5481, 5482 and 5483 are now in the Rules Committee, which will decide if and when to send them to the Senate floor for a vote.

Time is running out. The legislative session is scheduled to end April 25.

Reporter Jerry Cornfield: jcornfield@heraldnet.com | @dospueblos

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

Grayson Huff, left, a 4th grader at Pinewood Elementary, peeks around his sign during the Marysville School District budget presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
State OKs Marysville plan with schools, jobs on chopping block

The revised plan would mean the loss of dozens of jobs and two schools — still to be identified — in a school district staring down a budget crunch.

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

The Trestle’s junction with I-5 is under evaluation (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Here’s your chance to give feedback on the US 2 trestle and its future

Often feel overwhelmed, vulnerable and on shaky ground? So is the trestle. A new $17 million study seeks solutions for the route east of Everett.

John Pederson lifts a flag in the air while himself and other maintenance crew set up flags for Memorial Day at Floral Hills Cemetery on Friday, May 24, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Volunteers place thousands of flags by veterans’ graves in Lynnwood

Ahead of Memorial Day, local veterans ensure fellow military service members are never forgotten.

Brian Hennessy leads a demonstration of equipment used in fire training at the Maritime Institute in Everett, Washington on Wednesday, May 22, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
‘Ready to go full sail’: Maritime Institute embarks at Port of Everett

The training facility offers Coast Guard-certified courses for recreational boaters and commerical vessel operators.

George Beard poses for a photo outside of the the Stanwood Library in Stanwood, Washington on Wednesday, May 8, 2024.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
From sick to the streets: How an illness left a Stanwood man homeless

Medical bills wiped out George Beard’s savings. Left to heal in his car, he got sicker. Now, he’s desperate for housing. It could take years.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Lawsuit says Snohomish County deputies not justified in Sultan shooting

Two deputies repeatedly shot an unarmed Sultan man last year, body camera video shows. An internal investigation is pending.

An airplane is parked at Gate M9 on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. (Jordan Hansen/The Herald)
Good luck to Memorial Day travelers: If you’re like me, you’ll need it

I spent a night in the Chicago airport. I wouldn’t recommend it — but with flight delays near an all-time high, you might want to pack a pillow.

toon
Editorial cartoons for Friday, May 24

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Cascade’s Mia Walker, right, cries and hugs teammate Allison Gehrig after beating Gig Harbor on Thursday, May 23, 2024 in Lacey, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Seniors Wilson, Tripp power Cascade softball past Gig Harbor

The pair combined for three homers as the Bruins won the Class 3A state softball opening-round game.

The original Mountlake Terrace City Council, Patricia Neibel bottom right, with city attorney, sign incorporation ordinance in 1954. (Photo provided by the City of Mountlake Terrace)
Patricia Neibel, last inaugural MLT council member, dies at 97

The first woman on the council lived by the motto, “Why not me?” — on the council, at a sheriff’s office in Florida, or at a leper colony in Thailand.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.