Public can share thoughts on proposed U.S. 2 fixes

OLYMPIA — Snohomish County residents pushing for state aid to fix up U.S. 2 will get a chance Thursday to make their point to lawmakers directly.

An afternoon hearing is planned in the House Transportation Committee on three bills that tap different sources of funding for improvements without raising taxes.

Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, put forth the legislation to divert portions of revenue collected on car rentals, replacement license plates and renewed driver’s licenses into a new account for projects on designated safety corridors such as U.S. 2, U.S. 97 and Highway 20.

This will be the first time in several years U.S. 2 will be the subject of a legislative hearing.

“I’m pleased,” Kristiansen said. “The fact that there are hearings on all three bills will give us ample time to deal with the issue.”

Members of the U.S. 2 Safety Coalition are expected to testify. So too is Thomas Cock, father of 17-year-old Thomas Turner, the Monroe High School junior killed in a crash Dec. 28.

The teenager was the 47th person killed in an accident on the highway between Snoho­mish and Stevens Pass since 1999.

Kristiansen estimated his three proposals combined could steer about $18.5 million into the safety corridor account and give the state the ability to raise roughly $250 million a year through the sale of bonds. These would be paid off with the account’s revenue.

Thursday’s hearing is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.

Reporter Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623 or

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