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Washington State Democrats announce $16 billion Move Ahead Washington transportation package

OLYMPIA, Wash., February 8, 2022 – Washington State House and Senate Democrats released their new “Move Ahead Washington” transportation package Tuesday, February 8 – a $16 billion, 16-year transportation package that aims to fund existing mega projects, highway preservation and maintenance, expansion of fish culverts, and introduce new hybrid electric ferries. 

“This package is key for an accessible, sustainable future in Washington’s transportation sector,” said Sen. Jake Fey, 27th District. “We’ve worked hard over the last two years to listen to communities all across Washington, and they told us that their top priorities included preserving our infrastructure, finishing projects we’ve started, taking action against climate change, expanding multimodal options, and addressing the harm of past transportation policies. I’m proud that this package reflects all those things to invest in every Washington community.”

Included in this package is funding for projects such as the following:

  • $1 Billion: New I-5 bridge over the Columbia River
  • $380 Million: I-405/SR 167 Corridor Improvements
  • $210 Million: US 2 Trestle Capacity Improvements 
  • $46 Million: SR 525 Bridge Replacement in Mukilteo
  • $30.5 Million: Expansion of I-5 between Marysville and Everett
  • $25 Million: SR 99 BAT Lanes: 148th St SW to Airport Rd – Everett
  • $10 Million: SR 522 Widening
  • $10 Million: Poplar Way Bridge – Lynnwood
  • $8.4 Million: Paine Field Access (100th St. SW) – Everett 

For a complete list of resources and revenue sources for Move Ahead Washington, click here

United States Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-02)
Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-02)

The Move Ahead Washington package, will also invest billions of dollars in safe routes for pedestrians and bicyclists, including the Safe Routes to School Program, the ferry system, transit and about $150 million in high-speed rail. 

Largely funded ($5.4 billion) by a carbon pricing program signed into law last year under the Climate Commitment Act, in order to avoid an increased gas tax that could have impacted struggling families, the package will also be funded by the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a one-time transfer from the state operating budget, and a new tax on gas exports to surrounding states. 

Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) applauded the inclusion of $3.4 billion from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) in the state’s package, which he championed. 

“Senator Liias and Representative Fey’s package is a great start toward getting federal infrastructure dollars out to Washington communities and putting people to work,” said Larsen, a senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

More than 20% of funding outlined in the state’s transportation package announced Tuesday would come from the IIJA. In addition to the $3.4 billion included in the state package, state, local and tribal governments are eligible for competitive grant funding initiatives established or expanded under the federal infrastructure law. Additional revenue sources proposed are a 6-cent increase in exported fuel, increase license plate fees, increase in stolen check fees, increase in enhance driver’s license fees, and increase aircraft fuel tax to name a few sources.

“I look forward to continue working with communities and organizations in my district to identify infrastructure needs and push for federal investment in local projects that will create well-paying jobs and drive long-term economic recovery and growth.”

“At a higher level this transportation package will make life easier for people,” Sen. Marko Liias, 21st District, said at a press conference Tuesday.

While transportation packages like these historically receive bipartisan support, Republican leaders, including Andrew Barkis of the House Transportation Committee, said they were never consulted. When asked at the press conference Tuesday why Republicans were not asked to contribute, Senator Marko Liias explained it was for their lack of support on the Climate Commitment Act, the “cornerstone” of the package. 

“Unfortunately our Republican colleagues have a different vision for how to address climate action in this state,” Sen. Liias said. “So when it came to allocating those resources, we weren’t starting from the same place. With the challenge of a 60-day session, we had to come to an agreement with our colleagues in the house to move things forward.” 

The legislative session is scheduled to end March 10. 

Sen. Liias added that he looks forward to constructive suggestions from Republicans in the Senate as the bill moves forward.

“The door is never closed to bipartisan partnership. We’ll keep working together to get it to the finish line,” Sen. Liias said.
The package, which includes SB5974, SB5975, HB2118, and HB2119, is scheduled for a public hearing in the senate committee on transportation on February 10, at 8:00 a.m.

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