The Senate on Tuesday passed Senate Bill 5974 — Move Ahead Washington, a historic and community-centered investment in transportation projects throughout Spokane, Eastern Washington and the state as a whole.
“Today marks a historic day for our state and provides yet another example of how Washington leads the nation,” Sen. Andy Billig said. “This bill and the projects in it mark a fundamental change in the way we invest in and think about transportation in this state.”
“These investments keep Washington at the forefront of the battle against climate change. It invests billions in maintenance and preservation, in transit projects, bike and pedestrian routes, improves safety and most importantly creates thousands of family wage jobs.”
Move Ahead Washington is a 16 year, $16.8 billion transportation investment package. Its focus is on reducing carbon emissions, preserving and maintaining Washington’s existing roads, rail lines and bridges, investments in accessible and affordable transit and safety.
The plan also makes significant investments in and around Spokane:
- Accelerates the completion of the North Spokane Corridor by two years.
- $50 million: Spokane Transit Authority’s Division Street Bus Rapid Transit Line.
- Will create a transit hub and an affordable, low carbon transit option for the approximately 18,000 people who live near the line.
- $4 million: Liberty Park Land Bridge.
- This is an effort to reconnect the East Central neighborhood which during construction of I-90 in the 1950s, cut through and displaced many residents of the historically Black neighborhood.
- Billig is also the sponsor of SB 5853 which would allow WSDOT to lease unused property to be used for things like housing, parks and other projects in the same area.
- $6.1 million: Bicycle and pedestrian improvements on Cook Street and Pacific Avenue Greenways.
- $5.8 million: Millwood Trail improvement which runs along Euclid and Empire Avenue.
- $3 billion in maintenance and preservation in Spokane and throughout the state.
- $1.5 million: Spokane International Airport Transload Rail Facility.
“I am proud to support these investments which will have a profound impact on Spokane for generations to come,” Billig said. “This marks a new beginning in the way we look at transportation in our state. With this vote today, we’ve shown that we can create jobs and make important transportation investments that also reduce our carbon footprint, undo past injustices and pay for these universal priorities in a way that doesn’t pass the costs on to working families and small businesses.”