Milestone - April 17, 2002

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