Senate transportation-budget proposal includes more SR 224/Red Mountain funding

OLYMPIA… The supplemental transportation budget made public by the state Senate this morning includes $2.2 million requested by Sen. Perry Dozier to keep improvements to State Route 224 in the Red Mountain vicinity from stalling again.

Dozier, R-Waitsburg, said a $5 million appropriation he helped secure in the 2023-25 transportation budget was thought to be what the project needed. Then the Washington State Department of Transportation threw up a barrier, saying the work – which comprises vehicle and bicycle lanes, roundabouts and pedestrian areas – couldn’t proceed without more money.

“This project was supposed to be shovel-ready months ago, after that $5 million was approved. I’m not sure why things unraveled the way they did, but instead of arguing with WSDOT it made more sense to see if I could get a second appropriation in this same budget cycle,” said Dozier.

The Senate transportation proposal (SB 5947) must be passed by the Senate Transportation Committee, which will have a public hearing on the bill tomorrow and may vote on the plan Friday. The fact that the same appropriation is in the corresponding House proposal bodes well for the money carrying through to the final version of the supplemental transportation budget, Dozier said. It must be negotiated between the two chambers and adopted before legislators adjourn for the year March 7.