VICTORY!

With the passage of two final bills in the House of Representatives today, the Washington State Legislature completed its work on a 16-year $16.2 billion statewide transportation package.

The package includes $1.85 billion for the Puget Sound Gateway, which includes the substantive completion of State Route 167.

This historic vote has been a long-time coming and one that deserves celebration. The state began planning SR 167 in the 1970s and started construction in the 1980s, only to watch it stall in the 1990s. Happily, the project is now back in motion, and we can look forward to a ground breaking ceremony in the near future.

While passage of the transportation package required votes from throughout the state, the success of SR 167 is due in large part to the hard work and dedication of Pierce County’s legislative delegation.

We’d like to thank the following lawmakers for voting for the revenue bill as it moved through the Legislature: Sens. Randi Becker. Bruce Dammaier, Jan Angel, Jeannie Darneille, Steve O’Ban, Steve Conway and Mark Miloscia, and Reps. J.T. Wilcox, Melanie Stambaugh, Hans Zeiger, Jake Fey, Laurie Jinkins, Dick Muri, David Sawyer, Steve Kirby, Linda Kochmar, Drew Stokesbury and Chris Hurst.

We also want to congratulate the good work of hundreds of stakeholder organizations from around the state who spent countless hours lobbying their lawmakers, writing letters, sending emails or speaking out in support of the project.

The big question on everyone’s mind is when do we get to drive on SR-167? View the anticipated cash flow for the project, according the Legislative Evaluation and Accountability Program (LEAP) Committee.

For coverage of the vote, check out the Olympian, the Auburn Reporter, and the Seattle Times.

Once again, congratulations everyone!