Washington Democrats unveil expansive $16 billion transportation package

Feb 8, 2022, 1:00 PM | Updated: 1:40 pm
Transportation package...
Snowy sunrise over the new southbound I-5 Puyallup River Bridge. (WSDOT, Flickr Creative Commons)
(WSDOT, Flickr Creative Commons)

Washington Democrats have unveiled their new “Move Ahead Washington” package, detailing a 16-year transportation funding proposal with a $16 billion price tag.

Dems, GOP set to spar over future of Washington’s transportation budget

The package fills in funding gaps in existing mega-projects, like the expansion of the 167/509 Gateway Project and I-5 between Everett and Marysville. It also provides money to finish the widening of 405 and 167, and the 520 Bridge project.

It funds Washington’s part in a new I-5 bridge over the Columbia River in Vancouver, and a new Highway 2 trestle to expand capacity between Snohomish and Everett.

It also invests over a billion dollars in the ferry system, including funding for four new hybrid electric ferries and electrifying two existing boats. It puts more than a billion dollars into active transportation projects for bikes and pedestrians, including the Safe Routes to School program. Another $3 billion would go into transit, with $150 million set aside for high speed rail.

“This package is key for an accessible, sustainable future in Washington’s transportation sector,” said state Rep. Jake Fey, the chair of the House Transportation Committee. “We’ve worked hard over the last two years to listen to communities all across Washington, and they told us that their top priorities included preserving our infrastructure, finishing projects we’ve started, taking action against climate change, expanding multimodal options, and addressing the harm of past transportation policies. I’m proud that this package reflects all those things to invest in every Washington community.”

Inslee, leaders call on state Legislature to fund transportation infrastructure

Those are the bells and whistles. Let’s talk how to pay for it.

Roughly $5.4 billion will come from new taxes and fees on large polluters in the state. These taxes and fees were approved by the 2021 Legislature under the Climate Commitment Act. It’s unclear how much of those new taxes and fees will eventually end up being passed down to consumers, which could translate to much higher gas prices at the pump.

Two billion dollars will come from a one-time transfer from the Operating Budget, $3.4 billion will come from the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, $2 billion will be from a new tax on gas exported out of Washington. It is 6 cents per gallon on gas exports to Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. An estimated $956 million will come from existing bonding authority. Fees for enhanced driver’s licenses will also go up to help pay for this package.

“Washington is a nationwide leader on so many issues, and we can continue to show our progressive values in the transportation sector,” said Senator Marko Liias, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “From letting those 18 and under ride free on transit, to increasing public transit options, and investing in pedestrian and road safety projects to address the rise in traffic deaths, this is a win for our entire state.”

Republican leaders, like minority House Transportation Committee leader Andrew Barkis, say they were never consulted on this package or even asked to contribute.

Local News

crime, domestic violence...
Darren Dedo

Prosecutors say former boxer beats roommate to death shortly after leaving prison

A man in Kent has been charged with murder, and prosecutors say it started with a dispute over a crinkly candy wrapper.
1 day ago
(Photo by Craig F. Walker via Getty Images)...
Frank Sumrall

Seattle Public Schools will not change start times despite growing bus driver staffing concerns

Superintendent Brent Jones has determined Seattle Public Schools (SPS) will continue the two-tier transportation system for the 2022-23 school year.
1 day ago
Bellevue Power Line...
KIRO Newsradio staff

Power outages impact thousands across Western Washington

Thousands of people are without power in Western Washington after strong winds knocked down trees and power lines on Wednesday.
1 day ago
Auburn Pitbull...
Darren Dedo

Video: Police shoot dog attacking a little girl in Auburn

An Auburn girl is recovering after a vicious dog attack caught on video. According to Auburn Police, officers were dispatched to the 1800 block of C Street SE for a dog attack 11-year-old victim. Officers arrived on the scene and found the girl with bites to her left arm from an attack by two pit […]
1 day ago
Rescuers work at the site of a plane crash on March 23, 2022 in Tengxian County, Wuzhou City, Guang...
Charlie Harger

Investigators suspect the fatal Boeing 737 airplane crash in China was intentional

The Wall Street Journal reported investigators believe someone in the cockpit intentionally crashed the China Eastern Airlines jet.
1 day ago
Tent Homeless...
MyNorthwest Staff

Edmonds doesn’t want to become next Seattle after City Council bans public camping

After weeks of delays and debates, the Edmonds City Council passed an ordinance banning camping in public spaces Tuesday evening.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Washington Democrats unveil expansive $16 billion transportation package