Gov. Christine Gregoire is asking lawmakers in Washington
state to consider more transportation projects that would be funded by tolls.
The governor's request is a revival of the public-private
program that led to the construction of the second Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Gregoire is interested in spending $2 million for the
Washington Department of Transportation to determine whether to partner with
private contractors to design and build new road and bridge projects. Projects
could include widening Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass, a new bridge over
the Columbia River between Vancouver and Portland, and a 520 replacement span
across Lake Washington, The Associated
The governor and state transportation officials say that
without tapping into privatization the state won't be able to complete some
Officials with WSDOT and consultants have said nearly all
drivers traveling over the mountains on I-90 would be willing to pay a $1 to $6
fee, with trucks paying the most, the Ellensburg
If legislators approve the governor's request, a WSDOT
spokesperson told The AP the state
will invite builders to submit ideas later this year and the agency will
evaluate them in 2008.