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Gov. Gregoire signs transportation stimulus bill

For Immediate Release: March 5, 2009

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire today signed the transportation stimulus measure, House Bill 1978. The legislation authorizes the immediate spending of federal stimulus funds for state projects and approves the 2009 supplemental transportation budget.

“I commend House and Senate leadership on this important step to economic recovery in Washington state,” Gregoire said. “Working together, we will get people back to work and emerge from these tough economic times in a strong, competitive position. I am confident that when this national recession ends, Washington will be a leader in the 21st century economy.”

Money in the federal recovery package is critical to placing the country on the path to economic stability and long-term growth, and funds Washington’s transportation stimulus package. It will pump millions of dollars into local economies, which will help support and create jobs while providing significant improvements to roads and bridges.

“The statewide project list funded by these stimulus funds will not only help highway maintenance and safety, they will also provide jobs all over our state,” said Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “We’ll see plenty of people at work pouring concrete and laying asphalt, thanks to these funds — but there will also be people working behind the scenes supplying and delivering raw materials and providing other services that go far beyond the men and women you see wearing hardhats along the roadside.”

“I’m proud that we acted swiftly and collaboratively,” said Rep. Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, chair of the House Transportation Committee. “This money will flow to communities across the state, creating thousands of jobs at the time we need it most.”

The transportation package is not a cure-all for the state’s economy but puts Washington a step closer to recovery by helping to keep critically important transportation and infrastructure systems in place so travelers and freight continue to move.

The recovery package includes accountability measures to ensure that federal money is directed to the right projects and used in the right way. To this end, Gregoire’s office has created a Web site so the public can track how the money is spent. For information on state and federal recovery plans, grant opportunities and accountability measures, which will be added to the site, visit