Governor Gregoire recognizes the critical importance of a seamless transportation system to the prosperity of our state that also addresses the safety of our travelers. A strong and reliable transportation system efficiently moves goods to markets and people to work, school and even the grocery store. Washington voters overwhelmingly supported a gas-tax increase that provides $8.5 billion for a 16-year transportation package signed into law by Governor Gregoire in 2005. She recognizes the hardship that high gas prices present for working families. The Governor is committed to ensuring that every tax dollar is used wisely, and that these projects are completed in the timely manner taxpayers expect.

Putting safety first

Governor Gregoire is committed to the safety of all those who use our transportation system, whether it is a parent taking children to school or a truck driver crossing Snoqualmie Pass with crops bound for Asian markets. Many of Washington’s road and bridge repair projects address safety concerns, including installing cable barriers along our freeways and performing seismic retrofits on bridges. The seismically vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct is among these key projects.

Seamless regional transportation

Governor Gregoire believes we must plan together for both roads and transit for seamless traffic flow. She is working tirelessly with local and regional leaders to address the region’s most critical transportation needs. Two critical areas to be addressed in order to develop this seamless system are the state Route 99 Viaduct replacement project and the state Route 520 Bridge Project.

As the population in Washington grows, so must its network of roads and ferries. Additions will allow for smoother movement of both people and freight, thus reducing citizen frustration and making certain that businesses have the opportunity to grow. Governor Gregoire supports projects that decrease congestion by adding high occupancy vehicle lanes and building or expanding freeway interchanges.

Building a better future for Washington

Governor Gregoire understands that safe, less congested roadways are expected by Washington taxpayers. Moving people and freight safely and smoothly are integral to Washington’s unique quality of life and to our economy. Congestion relief analysis conducted by the Washington State Department of Transportation shows that as population and employment continue to grow in Washington’s urban areas, congestion will get worse. In response, the governor has directed WSDOT to develop plans to mitigate the effects of congestion on Washington’s highways.

Strategies are being put into place that:

  • Reduce demand on the transportation system by providing citizens with options such as HOV lanes.

  • Offer commute trip reduction programs and traveler information.

  • Operate efficiently by making the existing system operate more efficiently through use of tools such as ramp meters, synchronized traffic signals and incident response trucks to clear traffic incidents.

Governor Gregoire’s transportation budget continues progress on the state’s top priorities of improving safety and lessening congestion while protecting the environment from the consequences of making improvements. Enhancements that promote safety and keep traffic flowing are of the utmost importance to Washington’s residents and economy. Working with WSDOT, the governor has made extraordinary progress on key projects such as the SR 167 HOT Lanes Pilot Project.

The governor’s Nickel- and Transportation-Partnership gas tax programs comprise nearly 400 highway projects totaling more than $13 billion. As of September 30, 2008, we have delivered more than 25 percent of the program — 129 projects — and another 85 projects are under construction. Eighteen additional projects will be advertised in the next six months, bringing the total project delivery level to almost 60 percent.

Keeping the ferries moving

When safety inspections revealed that Washington’s Steel Electric-class ferries had hull damage, Governor Gregoire agreed with the decision to immediately pull them from service. While the move caused inconvenience to many of our citizens who rely upon ferries to get to work and other vital services, the Governor believes that safety must come first. The six car ferries now in the design phase or under construction represent an unprecedented moment in state ferry history.

Maintaining our infrastructure

The need for repairs to our transportation systems is constant and vital. Governor Gregoire knows that repairs are important. She has helped to prioritize those repair projects and ensure they receive necessary funding. A list of completed WSDOT projects can be found at