Move Ahead WA package will provide $16 billion for state transportation
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Democrats have unveiled Move Ahead Washington, a 16-year, $16 billion program to improve Washington’s transportation sector.
Move Ahead WA aims to create sustainable, eco-efficient transportation and improve current infrastructure across the state. It would distribute millions of dollars in funding to various cities, many with specific plans for future road and transit projects.
About $50 million of the set would go to Spokane Transit Authority’s Division Street bus rapid transit line. Spokane Representative Marcus Riccelli said the funds will give 18,000 nearby people access to rapid transit and pave the way for more than 30,000 jobs.
“We’ve spent a lot of time raising awareness in communities across the state, and what we’ve heard is that people want us to preserve the infrastructure that we have now and finish the projects that we have. we started,” Riccelli said. “This package ensures that Washington can finish what it started while looking to the future and investing in communities that have not traditionally received investment from our current transportation system.”
The Liberty Park Land Bridge would receive $4 million, which would reconnect the East Central neighborhood to East Sprague. About $5 million would go to improving pedestrian and bike lanes on Cook Street and Pacific Avenue Greenway, and another $5.8 million for Millwood Trail.
Riccelli believes the package will speed up the East Spokane Corridor process by three years. He is confident that this will greatly benefit rural areas and communities of color in Spokane.
“I’m particularly excited about the Connecting Communities Fund, which is providing $50 million to fund projects in communities that have seen historic underinvestment in walking and cycling infrastructure,” he said. “For the first time, the legislature is putting communities that have historically been left out, such as communities of color and rural communities, at the forefront.”
The bills that make up Move Ahead WA are Senate Bills 5974 and 5975 and House Bills 2118 and 2119. Funds for the package will come from the state’s general fund, the infrastructure and employment and the law on climate commitment.
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