OLYMPIA- Sen. Mark Mullet, D- Issaquah, issued this statement following the introduction of House Bill 1147, the House proposed supplemental transportation budget. HB 1147 accelerates the timing and funding for a new interchange at State Route 18 and Interstate 90. The project was initially set to begin in 2023 but with these proposed changes, it will begin this year.

“Moving the timing up on this project was my top priority this session. I pushed hard for its inclusion in the budget, and I’m grateful that the chair of the House Transportation Committee recognized the need for urgent action.

“Anyone who travels this section of I-90 knows how maddening the gridlock and traffic can be. It’s more than just a nuisance. It’s flat out dangerous. Frustrated motorists are illegally cutting lines and making risky U-turns. The traffic volume in this area is only going to get worse as the population continues to grow.

“All of these problems require action now, not six years down the road.

“Accelerating this project will not only relieve congestion and make our roads safer, it saves our state money because we will be able to take advantage of lower interest rates that are available right now.

“I also want to thank my fellow seatmates in the 5th Legislative District who worked across the aisle to ensure this project was included in the proposed budget.

“With this said, I recognize that this is only a proposal and a lot of work still has to be done before the House and Senate can come to an agreement on a final transportation budget. As these negotiations continue, I will be fighting to ensure that funding for this important project is maintained in whatever that final agreement may be.”