Thank you for the privilege of serving you. I am honored to work on your behalf. I received a lot of responses from constituents on transportation issues after my March 9 e-mail update. In the update, I outlined the majority party’s $10 billion transportation gas tax increase and construction package and some of my ideas to reform how we spend transportation dollars before we talk about new and higher taxes. I also asked you to participate in a brief survey. The results mirrored what I have heard from most of you – you want reforms before being asked to pay more for transportation projects.
To that end, my reform bills, House Bills 1986 and 1987, received public hearings March 18. Here is a brief description of the measures:
- House Bill 1986 would require the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to report engineering errors costing more than $500,000 and explain what went wrong to the Legislature. It would also require the agency to put in place a plan to correct the errors and ensure similar mistakes do not happen on future projects.
- House Bill 1987 would require transportation projects over $5 million be built using a Design-Build process so contractors hired to do the design and building of transportation projects would assume the liability for errors in their work. This process would ensure state taxpayers are not responsible for the cost of project design mistakes.
Together, my bills would create more transparency and accountability within the WSDOT. I believe taxpayers want to know every dollar they pay in taxes is spent efficiently and effectively. After situations like the Highway 16 interchange and the 520 Bridge mistakes that have cost taxpayers over $160 million due to errors in design, my proposals would help to rebuild trust in government. We must fix shortfalls in our transportation delivery and design before asking you for more of your paycheck.
Tracy Vedder of KOMO 4 TV has been investigating the issues with the 520 Bridge pontoons and design flaws. She covered my bill hearings yesterday. You can watch that news segment by clicking on the photo below.
As always, I welcome your feedback on transportation issues or any other topic of interest to you that is before the state Legislature. My contact information is below.
28th Legislative District
424 John L. O’Brien Building – P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7890 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000