Commuters in and around the 40th Legislative District will benefit from more than $44.2 million in improvements to area roads, ferries and ferry terminals in the transportation budget passed today by the Senate.
“Commutes will improve steadily across the region as a result of these projects,” Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, said. “Everything we’re doing is designed to make it easier and safer for people to travel, whether by land or water.”
Road projects include $3.5 million to reduce collisions and improve safety along SR 20 at the Fidalgo Bay Road intersection at Sharpes Corner near Anacortes; $2 million to replace the deteriorating wood and concrete Burlington North overpass along SR 99 with a new overpass three miles north of Burlington; and $350,000 to help prevent future landslides on Mackaye Harbor Road on Lopez Island.
The Lopez, Shaw, Orcas, Friday Harbor and Anacortes terminals will benefit from more than $30.8 million for improvements and needed maintenance, while the MV Chelan, Sealth, Evergreen, Elwha, Kaleetan, Yakima and Samish ferries will see more than $23.9 million for maintenance. The budget provides another $7 million for emergency repairs for ferries and $325,000 to improve the reservation system and reduce wait times.
“This money will get ferries back into service faster when there are problems and restore maximum service to our routes,” Ranker said. “As these projects are completed, commuters should enjoy better and better service in the months and years ahead.”
In addition, the budget adds $392,000 to expand the rail terminal in Mount Vernon and $25,000 to complete freight rail improvements along the Bellingham waterfront.