Washington’s $16 billion transportation package to give millions towards Spokane infrastructure
SPOKANE, Wash — Hundreds of millions of dollars could be coming to Spokane to improve pedestrian and bicycle access across the city.
The “Move Ahead Washington” transportation package, if approved would fund 16.3 billion dollars in transportation and span 16 years. It includes several projects that would directly impact the residents of Spokane.
50 million dollars would go directly to Spokane Transit Authority. They’d use the funds to help launch a rapid bus route through Division Street.
“It has a higher frequency, and a larger span throughout the day where it starts earlier in the morning and later at night, it also has more passenger amenities,” said COO Brandon Rapez-Betty.
Downtown Spokane will see the new purple rapid bus routes in 2023. The plan on Division, if funded through this bill, would take several years before it would even happen.
“The project on Division is really more about creating what is the next chapter on Division, after the North Spokane corridor opens and some of that traffic moves, there’s a whole new opportunity and we’re glad to be a part of it,” he said.
5.8 million dollars would go towards paving a trail right along the Spokane River near the Spokane community college. The Eastern portion of the trail has already been completed and connects to Millwood.
“This provides access to all those citizens out in the Valley to get to a safe pedestrian bike route that would carry them to the Centennial Trail or the Children of the Sun trail,” said Millwood Mayor Kevin Freeman.
East Central Spokane which has long been divided would gain easier pedestrian and bike access right where Liberty Park is. $4 million would go towards creating a land bridge over I-90.
“The underpasses aren’t very inviting, they don’t look very safe,” said Randy McGlenn, chair of the East Central Spokane Neighborhood Council. “And there are certainly concerns among parents about having their children walking around very very busy intersections.”
Other projects include:
- A 2 year acceleration in the construction of the North Spokane Corridor.
- $290 million towards the Safe Routes to School program.
- $900 million to address stormwater, keeping the Spokane River and waterways around the state clean for people, fish, and wildlife.
The senate bill is now headed to the house for approval.
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