FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 5, 2023
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OLYMPIA – Sen. Annette Cleveland (D-Vancouver) issued the following statement on the Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 5765, which authorizes tolling for the Interstate 5 bridge replacement project:
“Today, I cast my vote in favor of authorizing tolling on the I-5 Bridge Replacement Project. Tolls helped pay for the bridge that stands today, and tolls will be what helps achieve our goal of replacing it.
“Tolls are fiscally responsible and equitable. They ensure those who use the bridge help pay for it. They also ensure local, state and federal resources are all a part of funding much-needed transportation infrastructure.
“Our grandparents and parents were willing to pay tolls to improve our futures. We must step up now and be willing to make the same investment, so our children and grandchildren can travel safely and benefit from economic opportunities a new bridge will bring to our district — anything less is selfish and shortsighted.
“Do we owe it to our citizens to work closely with our Oregon partners to mitigate any impacts that unfairly burden Washingtonians? Absolutely, yes. I am committed to that ongoing work and continual collaboration with our colleagues in Oregon to address this discussion when that time comes.
“Right now, we are focused on our shared goal to put the building blocks in place to demonstrate a strong case for federal funding, and authorizing tolling is the next step toward that goal.
“There are many other steps, decision points and detailed discussions to come. I will ensure continued, robust public involvement and input occurs before action is taken.
“While I am disappointed some of my colleagues are again posturing and politicizing this critical and needed bridge replacement project, my hope is they will stay at the table to continue demonstrating their promise of reaching our goal.”