Contact Information

  • Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Gov. Gregoire signs transportation budget, other transportation bills

For Immediate Release: May 9, 2005

OLYMPIA, May 9, 2005 – Gov. Christine Gregoire today signed the $8.5 billion state transportation budget and eight other bills during a transportation bus tour through Pierce, King and Snohomish counties.

The governor highlighted the benefits of the transportation package, and other bills, during stops at the Tacoma, Renton, Maltby, Kirkland and Seattle.

“This transportation budget is a victory for the people of this state, and it means Washington’s future just got better,” Gregoire said as she signed the document in an 11:30 a.m. ceremony at the Coleman Ferry Dock in Seattle. “The investments we make will save lives, move people and products, and make our state economy strong.”

The governor said transportation projects would create thousands of jobs in all parts of the state.

Gregoire said the transportation budget received bipartisan support in the Legislature and strikes a necessary balance in transportation funding for Western and Eastern Washington and other parts of the state.

“Democrats and Republicans have their differences,” Gregoire said. “But when it came down to the fact that people’s lives are at stake, and that our state economy hangs in the balance, we had bipartisan support for transportation projects that protect public safety and recognize that our transportation system is the backbone of our economy.”

The governor said she particularly thanks transportation committee chairs Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen and Rep. Ed Murray, as well as the ranking Republican members of the transportation committees, Rep. Beverly Woods and Sen. Dan Swecker.

Gregoire said the transportation package moves the state forward on the Columbia River crossing bridge between Vancouver and Portland, the North Spokane Corridor and fixing Interstate 90 so freight can move safely and efficiently over Snoqualmie Pass. She said it also addresses critical safety needs posed by the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the 520 Bridge in Seattle and other transportation structures throughout the state.

“In fact, every county will see results,” Gregoire said. “And for the first time in 15 years, cities and counties will get new gas tax revenue which they desperately need to address maintenance, preservation and growth needs.”

Doug MacDonald, secretary of the Department of Transportation, accompanied the governor on today’s transportation tour. He said, “Our task at WSDOT in these coming years is to continue to demonstrate, project after project, that we are making every dollar count. Our most serious commitment is to give back a dollar of value for every dollar of taxes we are asked to turn into projects. That's the challenge we want.”

The transportation bills signed today by the governor include:

  • SB 6091: Making appropriations for transportation projects

  • SB 6103: Providing funding for transportation projects

  • HB 2311: Authorizing bonds for transportation projects

  • ESB 5513: Restructuring the Department of Transportation, including requiring appointment of the secretary of transportation by the governor

  • SB 5121: Creating a council to examine long-term air transportation needs

  • SHB 1541: Relating to innovative transportation partnerships

  • SHB 2124: Increasing state participation in public transportation service and planning

  • HB 1181: Pertaining to heavy haul industrial corridors

  • HB 1179: Authorizing a pilot High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes project on State Route 167

Gregoire highlighted these examples of planned transportation improvements in specific areas:

Pierce County
· HOV lanes on SR 167 from Auburn to Pierce County.
· New freeway between SR 509 and I-5.
· Replacement of the SR 162 Puyallup River Bridge.
· HOV lanes at I-5/SR 16 to improve capacity and reduce the risk of collisions.
· Construct and upgrade tracks along a 20-mile corridor for passenger train service, reducing the Seattle-Portland schedule by six minutes.

South King County
· Railroad overcrossings at M Street in Auburn, and S. 212th Street and Willis Street in Kent.
· Reconstruct interchange at SR 509 and 518 in SeaTac.
· Improvements to I-405 from Renton to Bellevue.
· Interchange reconstruction at I-5 and 272nd Street in Federal Way.
· High-occupancy toll lane pilot project from Puyallup to Renton.

East King County
· Traffic light synchronization in Issaquah.
· Eliminate weave congestion at I-405 and N.E. Eighth Street.
· New interchange at I-405 and N.E. 10th Street.
· New interchange at I-405 and N.E. 132nd Street.
· Two-way transit and HOV service on I-90 on Mercer Island.

Snohomish County
· SR 9 corridor improvements
· SR 532 corridor improvements
· I-5/172nd Street interchange improvements
· Fifteen roadway-safety improvements, including bridge seismic retrofits
· Five freight-mobility projects

Seattle area
· Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project.
· SR 520 bridge replacement project.
· Fauntleroy ferry terminal preservation.
· King Street Station track improvements.
· East Marginal Way ramps.

# # #