ROADS/BRIDGES: Washington State looks to augment planning against congestion

Amending proposed budgets would add at least $10 billion toward infrastructure

Transportation Management News February 12, 2015
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In a recent survey taken by Transportation Management & Engineering (TM&E), congestion relief was cited as a major factor in both 2014 state-level DOT spending and anticipated 2015 spending. And yet the dissemination of funds, over which most lawmakers are alternately brash and hedging, has yet to really trickle down from large-scale project-based targets to the more miasmatic problem of traffic congestion. The State of Washington, however, looks to go the other way.
 
State Representative Melanie Stambaugh (R-Puyallup) has proposed a new law that would add congestion relief to the state’s formal transportation goals to the tune of a $10 billion investiture. One of Stambaugh’s goals is to end the bottlenecks that are produced at Joint Base Lewis-McChord; another is to complete work on Hwy. 167.
 
At present, the state’s goals favor “mobility,” moving people rather than cars, though this terms is vague at best in terms of how it may be applied in a funding sense.
 
“I wouldn't say [my plan] means building more concrete,” Stambaugh said, “It means building smart concrete.”
 
Washingtonians remain skeptical, but House Transportation Chair Judy Clibborn has stated that congestion relief will likely to be added to the transportation package in a bid to compromise with Republicans.

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