Major Milestone - Phase I Funding of $10.1 Million Retained
Due to a shortfall in the Washington State Department of Transportation's budget, a host of transportation projects across the state were targeted to be eliminated, cut or delayed. The first phase of four-laning U.S. Highway 12 previously approved with $10.1 million in state funding was at risk.
A host of coalition members wrote letters to the Washington State Transportation Commission, phone calls were made to the respective chairs of the House & Senate Transportation Committees, and our 16th Legislative District members (Senator Mike Hewitt, Representative Bill Grant and Representative Dave Mastin) wrote Secretary of Transportation Doug MacDonald a joint letter seeking to retain phase one funding.
At the April 17, Transportation Commission Meeting in Olympia the following coalition members provided testimony seeking to retain funding:
- Senator Mike Hewitt
- County Commissioner Dave Carey
- Port Commissioner Fred Bennett
- County Public Works Director Phil Merrell
- Ball Janik Representative Dan James
While a multitude of projects throughout the state were cut or substantially delayed, the coalition was successful in retaining $730,000 in current fiscal year funding to allow phase one four-laning to go out to bid in October 2002. The remaining construction funding will be released when the new fiscal year starts on July 1, 2003.
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin Articles:
(April 3, 2002) - U.S. 12 project on state chopping block
(April 5, 2002) - U.S. 12 project faces year delay
(April 11, 2002) - Area officials prepare for battle over U.S. 12 funds
(April 18, 2002) - Highway 12 project put back on path