Most new money in transpo budget would go to 520

Feb 16, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. — House Transportation leaders are unveiling their proposed supplemental transportation budget with $770 million in new spending, most of it pegged to the 520 bridge replacement project.

At a news conference Thursday, lawmakers said the proposed budget would make down payments on projects to ease congestion on I-5 while freeing up funds to buy a new 144-car ferry and restore the State Patrol's auto theft program.

Not counting the 520 bridge project, the proposed budget would actually decrease by $140 million, mainly due to unexpectedly low project bids.

The proposed budget appears to have bipartisan support on the House Transportation Committee, though Rep. Mark Hargrove, a Covington Republican, said he'd like to see more emphasis on cost savings by speeding up environmental reviews on bridge expansions and other projects.