State House proposes to invest $26 million to widen section of Highway 18

The House of Representatives’ Transportation Budget proposal, introduced by House Democrats on Monday, makes major investments in transportation infrastructure in east and south King County.

The House’s proposal allocates over $171 million to the 5th District for local transportation projects, including an additional $26 million for the initial planning and approval phase to widen State Route 18 from Hobart Road to Raging River.

“We had two major priorities when we came to Olympia, get I-90, State Route 18 interchange finished as quickly as possible and secure funding to widening the last bit of State Route 18 to four lanes,” said Rep. Bill Ramos, D-Issaquah, who serves on the House Transportation Committee. “Securing this funding would be a game changer for our communities. We are making investments to ease traffic and make our roads safer.”

“Our constituents have been clear about their transportation priorities,” said Rep. Lisa Callan, D-Issaquah. “Making sure that we complete the widening of Highway 18 was at the top of that list. They want a safer commute with fewer accidents, less time in traffic, and more time with family and friends. We’re working to make that happen.”

First-term District 47 legislators – Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, and Rep. Debra Entenman, D-Kent, have pushed for the project. Das, at a town hall meeting at Green River College in Auburn last Saturday, pointed out a 7-mile section of state Route 18 has been a trouble spot fraught with congestion and accidents.

After passage, the Transportation Budget will head to the Senate for consideration. The full proposed Transportation Budget can be found at the Washington State Fiscal Information website at fiscal.wa.gov.

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