Congress action nets Washington $1.7B for highways, ferries
Legislation that passed Congress on Friday will provide more than $1.7 billion for transportation projects in Washington state over two years.
Seattle Times staff reporter
For Washington state, the legislation passed by Congress on Friday assures continued federal support of highway projects under way or soon to begin, and allows the state ferry system to count on a set amount of money rather than competing for grants each year, state transportation officials said.
Washington will receive more than $1.7 billion for transportation projects over two years, including $40 million of "critical funding" for ferries, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray said in a statement.
The congressional compromise keeps alive the state's application for $320 million in loans or loan guarantees for the new Highway 520 bridge, said Allison Camden, federal-relations manager for the state Department of Transportation.
It also deepens a pot of competitive grant funding for which Highway 520, the Interstate 5 Columbia River crossing and the North Spokane Corridor project could be candidates, Camden said.
"It's hugely important that Congress stepped up to the plate today and assured the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund for the next two years," she said.
The federal government has provided 27 percent of Washington's highway budget over the past 10 years, most of it for maintenance, repair and safety improvements.
Keith Ervin: 206-464-2105 or email@example.com