Saturday, April 13, 2024

Confluence Parkway scheduled for funding in transportation budgets

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WENATCHEE - Last year’s legislative session concluded with the approval of a 16-year, $16.9 billion transportation investment plan, known as “Move Ahead Washington.” The long-term plan primarily funded preservation and maintenance of our existing transportation system as well as new, large-scale construction projects. Despite being a 16-year plan with numerous projects funded, the legislation did not include its typical “aged and phased” project list, which itemizes each project’s funding over the duration of the plan.

The primary goal of the House and Senate transportation committees during this year’s legislative session is to schedule each of the projects approved in the 16-year “Move Ahead Washington” plan. Once scheduled in the 2023-25 transportation budget, the projects approved during the 2022 legislative session will be slated to receive their funding appropriations over the next several biennial transportation budgets. The 2022 approved plan combines federal infrastructure funds, climate revenues approved during a previous session, transfers from the operating budget, and license plate and driver license fees to fund the new 16-year investments.

I am pleased to share that the $85 million identified in 2022 for Wenatchee’s Confluence Parkway is now proposed for funding in accordance with the city and stakeholders’ preferred allocation timeline. Securing and scheduling the Confluence Parkway funding is one of my top legislative priorities this session. The House proposal released March 27 and the Senate proposal released March 29 are aligned with the governor’s proposed transportation budget for Confluence Parkway. This is terrific news for the project because it not only proposes to fully fund Confluence Parkway, its funding would begin this year.

The proposals would allocate Confluence Parkway’s $85 million over the next three transportation budget cycles: $28 million (2023-25), $47 million (2025-27), and $10 million (2027-29), aligning with both the Governor and Department of Transportation’s suggestions. This proposed funding would allow the City of Wenatchee to fully benefit from the federal grant dollars identified for Confluence Parkway and allow the project to be bid and contracted as one project, streamlining construction and maximizing efficiency.

Cooperation at all levels of government

Achieving full funding of this project has required cooperation at all levels of government. Congratulations to the City of Wenatchee, Link Transit, and Chelan-Douglas Transportation Council for their advocacy in recent years along with their efforts to secure significant INFRA grant funding at the federal level. Thanks also to my House seatmates and local officials for their efforts. I’m proud of our community for working together at multiple levels of government and across political lines to take a step forward toward something so significant. The Wenatchee Valley has a long and proud history of thinking big, working together, and getting things done.

Thank you, Mayor Frank Kuntz!

Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz and city officials past and present have been working for several years to secure funding and complete the Confluence Parkway project. I have worked closely with the city along with several other community organizations and local, state, and federal elected officials. This has been a multi-year process, and I’d like to personally thank the city of Wenatchee for their years of leadership and hard work toward this important project. 

Honored to serve you

My position as State Senator exists to serve you. If you have any questions about transportation issues, state budgets, or other topics, please contact me at senatorbradhawkins.org. Please call our Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 if you need immediate assistance at any time. Be sure to like and follow me on Facebook @SenatorBradHawkins for my latest updates. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your state senator.

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