The Spokane Valley City Council met with 4th District Legislators and lobbyists Tuesday afternoon to discuss items on its 2018 Legislative Agenda, placing among its priorities transportation funding for the Bridging the Valley project and Appleway Trail Park amenities.
The $20 million Barker Road Grade Separation project – which would replace an at-grade BNSF railroad crossing with an overpass at the intersection of Barker Road and Trent Avenue – is the first phase of the city’s Bridging the Valley project. The city has so-far secured $16 million for the project, which it is financing through a combination of city funds, state and federal grants.
The Barker Road project will continue to be an elevated priority during the 2018 Legislative session, said Chelsea Hager, governmental affairs consultant for Gordon Thomas Honeywell.
Legislators and lobbyists were instrumental in securing $1.5 million in funding for the Barker Road Grade Separation Project in Washington state’s 2017-19 transportation budget.
“I’m optimistic we will be able to make that project come to fruition,” Hager said.
The City Council is also encouraging Legislators to support passage of a 2017-19 capital budget, which is pending in Legislature upon agreement of the Hirst decision.
The capital budget includes $540,000 in funding for park amenities such as topsoil, turf, trees, a drinking fountain, a restroom and benches along the first mile of Appleway Trail. The city allocated funding for the remaining 3.25 miles of Appleway Trail including amenities, which is scheduled over the next two years.
Gordon Thomas Honeywell said he expects to see “a lot of movement” regarding the state’s capital budget and the Hirst decision during the second and third weeks of the 2018 Legislative session.
“Hopefully they can both be solved,” he said. “They both should be solved together.”
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