SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is responding to concerns about his budget proposal to delay the North-South Freeway project in Spokane.
The governor says WSDOT has many hurdles that include rising construction costs and state revenue allocated to complete projects across the state has gone down. He says these factors have delayed other projects as well.
"I do know how concerned the Spokane community is about this," Inslee said. "We know how important this is to the community, and I know sometimes people think, 'Well, why Spokane?' Well, it's all across the state of Washington. These projects have had to be delayed because of higher costs, less money available, less contractors available, and I'm hopeful that we can find something to not have to do this delay."
Gov. Inslee also said he will work with state legislators to ensure the project isn't delayed any further. In the meantime, with this new proposed budget, it could set the project back to 2035.
This response from Inslee comes just a few days after Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward testified before the state senate transportation committee. The mayor urged the committee to prevent any further delays to the freeway project, stating that it would be detrimental to Spokane's economy.
"This project is arguably the most important transportation link since Interstate 90 came through our city," Woodward said. "It is critical infrastructure to Spokane. It would be a major, major blow to our economy."
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