Dear friends and neighbors:

It’s no secret that Highway 18 has been a major headache for years — and not just for those of us here in the 5th District but for anyone in the state who has to drive it. That’s why I’ve focused a significant amount of my time and legislative efforts on improving Highway 18 throughout my 10 years in the Senate.

Those efforts bore sweet fruit earlier this month when we finally broke ground for a new interchange at SR-18 and I-90. But we traveled a long road to get there; a year didn’t go by when I wasn’t fighting for additional funding, or accelerating the timeline for completion, or both. It was a lot of hard work — and I wasn’t the only one doing it. Reps. Bill Ramos and Lisa Callan and I have all been working on this project, and we rely on our friends across the state to provide support; success has many parents, as they say, and the future of Highway 18 bears this out. Construction on this key phase will begin in November, with the new interchange scheduled to open in 2025.

We’d love to see it even sooner, of course, but we wouldn’t even be seeing it this soon if not for all the people who did their share to ensure we get a better, safer road through this crucial corridor. I thank them for their support, and I encourage them to continue to stay engaged until the last new line is painted on the last new stretch of pavement.

At the same time, we’ve kept our eye on small projects along with the large. We’ve fixed and reopened a lane that had been closed off on I-90 in North Bend, for example, and we’ve repaired and opened an on-ramp to access I-90 in Issaquah. And one of my goals next session is to get those small types of projects completed faster; these roads were out of service for far longer than necessary.

Stay healthy and take care,