Millions of federal dollars earmarked for local road and transit work could help revive Issaquah's dormant downtown trolley line, extend...
Millions of federal dollars earmarked for local road and transit work could help revive Issaquah’s dormant downtown trolley line, extend Northeast 10th Street over Interstate 405 in Bellevue and improve congestion around the University of Washington, Bothell, among many other projects.
The $286 billion Transportation Equity Act that Congress passed last week sets funding levels for highways, ferries and transit programs through 2009. It received bipartisan support and awaits the president’s signature.
Washington state is primed to receive more than $3 billion, according to the state Department of Transportation. About $515 million of that is earmarked for specific projects, with $220 million alone going toward replacing Seattle’s aging Alaskan Way Viaduct. The rest goes into state and regional grant programs that help transit agencies to buy buses, and cities and counties to build sidewalks, roads and trails.
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Money for the road
Major regional projects earmarked for federal funding
$3.2 million for Interstate 90 HOV-lane project
$4.8 million for Mukilteo transit hub with ferry terminal, train station and bus stop
$2.5 million for Community Transit to buy buses and expand park-and-rides in Snohomish County
$6 million for Highway 18 widening between Maple Valley and Interstate 90
$3.5 million to widen East Marine View Drive in Everett.
$1.2 million to widen Highway 527 in Bothell-Mill Creek
$220 million to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct
$4 million for Issaquah’s Southeast Bypass
$2.6 million to reconstruct Highway 99 between North 145th and North 205th streets in Shoreline
$2 million for Seattle ferry-terminal redevelopment and expansion
Source: Washington state Department of Transportation
Sound Transit would receive $3.2 million to restripe the Interstate 90 floating bridge and add car-pool lanes along the outer edges, and an additional $1.5 million to study what type of high-capacity transit system would best serve the Eastside.
Bellevue could get $10.7 million to extend Northeast 10th Street over I-405, providing another east-west route across I-405 and quick access to Overlake Hospital Medical Center.
Issaquah would receive $4 million toward building the Southeast Bypass, which would route traffic away from crowded downtown streets, and $200,000 for the Issaquah Valley Trolley to get streetcars moving along a one-mile route between City Hall and Gilman Village.
About $2.4 million would go toward relieving traffic congestion and improving access to the UW-Bothell and Cascadia Community College along Highway 522. Other likely projects include $668,000 to build a park-and-ride in North Bend, $800,000 to finish coordinating traffic signals in Redmond, and $800,000 to replace the Coal Creek Parkway Bridge in Newcastle.
Local transportation officials say their good cheer over the windfall is tempered, however, by worry over where they’ll find the money to widen I-405, replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, and finish more pedestrian projects if voters repeal a state gas-tax increase that was expected to pay the lion’s share of the bills.
“It certainly is a cloud hanging over the whole region, and the state,” said Ric Ilgenfritz, a Sound Transit spokesman.
Losing the money from the gas-tax increase could derail multiple projects, he said, because state and local projects typically must provide matching funds to receive federal grants.
If Initiative 912 passes, it would repeal the state’s gas-tax increase of 9.5 cents per gallon.
Karen Gaudette: 206-515-5618 or firstname.lastname@example.org