OLYMPIA — The House passed and sent to the governor a $9 billion transportation bill that includes money for roads, bridges and ferry projects for the next two years.
Included in 47-page summary of projects on the bill will cover are $72 million to continue work on the North-South freeway and $15.7 million for Interstate 90 corridor improvements in the Spokane Valley. It sets aside $12 million to replace the 67-year-old ferry at Keller, although much of that comes from sources other than the state.
The the list of projects, which total about $5.6 billion, also calls for the state to spend $32 million to finish construction of a 64-car ferry in the Puget Sound, and spend another $124 million to begin work on a new 144-car ferry. Ferry riders will face a 2.5 percent increase in rates in each of the next two years.
It sets aside money to shore up slopes, resurface state highways, renovate rest stops, improve rail lines and ferry terminals and rechannel runoff. Supporters called it a jobs bill that will create about 30,000 jobs.
The final House vote on the bill was was 87-9. Among Spokane-area legislators, Democrats Andy Billig and Timm Ormsby, and Republicans John Ahern, Susan Fagan, Joel Kretz, Kevin Parker, Joe Schmick, Shelly and Short voted yes. Republican Matt Shea voted no. Republican Larry Crouse was excused.