Dear friends and neighbors:

There’s a lot to like about Move Ahead Washington, the $16 billion transportation revenue package passed last week by the Senate.

First and foremost, the package would fully fund the remaining cost of our improvements to Highway 18 over Tiger Mountain. The $640 million allocation to widen Highway 18 and complete the interchange with Interstate 90 will improve flow, relieve congestion, increase safety, and reduce travel times on I-90, Highway 18 and the Snoqualmie Parkway. The project will also fix more than 30 fish barriers or culverts, a costly but critical means of improving salmon health. It’s also a project that’s taken a good decade to gain full funding, as I explain in this brief video.

Second, the package would provide $5 million for resurfacing Snoqualmie Parkway to extend the life of the road and address damage caused by regional truck traffic.

Third, the package includes $5 million for the Maple Valley Pedestrian Bridge over SR 169 to provide a vital pedestrian connection to the Maple Valley Farmer’s Market, future Legacy Site, and regional trail system.

What’s more, the package will deliver these vital area projects, as well as other much-needed improvements across our state, without increasing the gas tax. As a member of the legislative team that negotiated the package, I insisted on legislation that would not boost the gas tax and relies instead on surpluses in the operating budget and on federal transportation funds.

As we all know, far too many commuters are stuck in gridlock and misery trying to get to and from work every day. This will only get worse as more people move to our region, unless we improve our roads. We need a new revenue package to keep traffic moving safely and smoothly, but we also need to make sure we fund it the right way. This package does that.

Take care and stay safe,