Washington D.C. – On Tuesday, the Department of Transportation introduced the Grow America Act, which calls for $302 billion to be spent over four years on transportation projects across the nation.
Sam Brown, the Director of the White House Business Council, told the 46-person Spokane delegation that the money would be raised through corporate tax reform.
How do the transportation needs of our region fit in the funding model?
The Spokane delegation also met with Victor Mendez, the Acting Deputy Secretary of Transportation. The delegation presented to Mendez the transportation projects and needs in our region. Completing the North Spokane Corridor is atop the list, but other projects are important as well: Highway 904 to Cheney, the Geiger and Medical Lake interchanges, the U-District bike/pedestrian bridge and more.
The Grow America Act, Mendez said, is very much needed because the Highway Trust Fund that currently funds projects will be empty by Sept. 30.
“We need to be bold, we need to invest in our country and we need to do it quickly,” Mendez told the delegation. “We can do better and we should do better.”
Mendez said the current levels of funding are not enough to maintain current roads and bridges or build new ones.
The good news for the greater Spokane region is that Mendez and his staff are very much aware of and familiar with our transportation needs. The delegation met with Mendez last year, and some members of the delegation have met with him on their own time.
The North Spokane Corridor has received two federal Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants in the past to help fund the freeway.