Washington Governor Jay Inslee stopped in Spokane Wednesday to champion transportation as a huge priority for the state.
Inslee began his tour with a ride on what will soon be the central line of transportation for the Spokane Transit Authority. Part of that plan is a high performance transit project with a vehicle that will look like kind of like a train traveling from Browne's Addition to Gonzaga University.
"It is great having the governor and his wife here. He knows that Spokane is important to the state, the success of the state," Susan Meyer with STA said.
Inslee saw a lot of the city but this morning focused on completing Highway 395, a project people in our area have been waiting on for decades. He stopped on the Francis Avenue Bridge, over what will soon become the final five portion of Highway 395, a project he said, if greenlighted, will add 10,000 jobs to Spokane County and finally complete the long-awaited North-South Freeway.
"Its time to move this freeway south," Inslee said.
Inslee said he wants lawmakers to pass a comprehensive, bipartisan transportation package, and soon, not just for projects like Highway 395; 71 bridges in Washington will become structurally deficient in the next 50 years if something isn't done to fix them. He said Washington needs to move forward on transportation and Highway 395 and this is the year to do it.
"We've seen tremendous progress. The five miles we have done already. We know that that is bearing fruit and people can't wait to finish the industrial development that we are seeing right here next to Francis Avenue Vridge to put another 10,000 people to work associated with this project," Inslee said.
Inslee wants that transportation package, with funding for Highway 395, passed by the end of the year.