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Office of Governor Gary Locke
Contact:  Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Locke announces transportation improvement plans to Eastern Washington Transportation Summit

PASCO - Gov. Gary Locke shared his plan to ease traffic congestion in both Eastern and Western Washington today at the Eastern Washington Transportation Summit.

"The transportation crisis is not just about central Puget Sound," Locke said. "It is just as important for Eastern Washington farmers to get their goods to the ports on time. Ships and cargo planes don't wait for trucks or trains slowed by traffic."

Locke described his plan to get Washington moving again, which includes keeping the Legislature in Olympia until it gets a transportation package that serves commuters, businesses and shippers.

"We will reform our existing transportation system to make it work better, faster and at a lower cost."

Locke said his top priority projects will be started, constructed and completed within the next six years. In Eastern Washington those include:

Widening lanes on State Route 240 between Interstate 182 and the Columbia Center interchange

Separating rail and roadway traffic in the center of Yakima
Widening State Route 17 in Moses Lake

"I am absolutely committed to strengthening our statewide system. And as the Blue Ribbon Commission recommended, new revenue raised within a region stays within that region."

For example, the governor said, that means any new money generated in the Tri-Cities area, stays there for transportation projects.

"Remember, none of these crucial investments will happen unless we work together to get the Legislature to act, and we get the help of business and civic leaders. This is about saving our economy and saving jobs."
Related Links:
- Transportation Solutions: Starting on Tomorrow Today
- Transportation: No More Business As Usual

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