Washington State Passes $16 Billion Transportation Plan, Includes Gas Tax Increase

The Washington state Legislature passed a $16.1 billion transportation funding plan earlier this month that would raise the gas tax to fund key infrastructure projects.

The tax would increase by 7 cents per gallon Aug. 1. Then, on July 1, 2016, it would increase by 4.9 cents. Most of the revenue would be used to fund big-ticket highway expansion projects, transit systems and local roadways.

Gov. Jay Inslee (D) has expressed support for the measure because it would “provide important infrastructure improvements for communities all across Washington, boosting our growing economy.”

The state’s aging infrastructure garnered national headlines in May 2013 when a bridge along Interstate 5 collapsed after it was struck by a truck. The bridge was reopened in September of that year after crews installed a new permanent span with help from a federal emergency grant of $15.6 million.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Evergreen State’s roadway system was built more than five decades ago,and it carries more traffic than it originally was designed to accommodate.