Following the passage of the I-976 initiative and resulting cuts to transportation revenue sources, Gov. Jay Inslee has directed the Washington State Department of Transportation to postpone projects not yet underway, including the $1.5 million proposed project for pedestrian improvements on the Warren Avenue Bridge in Bremerton.
The Kitsap County project is one of many statewide projects that will be postponed for at least six months, according to a WSDOT report. WSDOT stated that delaying these projects will provide the governor and state Legislature more funding flexibility for determining how to amend the 2019-21 transportation budget in order to implement I-976 during the legislative session.
The loss to the transportation accounts used during the 2019-21 biennium is estimated to be $451 million out of a $6.7 billion biennial budget.
“The work to determine which projects are postponed is not simple nor a task taken lightly,” Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar wrote in the letter.
“This list reflects deliberative work as transportation projects are complex. Each project is unique in terms of the current project phase, how they are funded and structured — often a blend of local, state and federal dollars — and all required close examination to determine what postponement could mean from a funding and contractual perspective.”
“By delaying the obligation of funds, WSDOT provides the governor and Legislature more funding flexibility to determine how to implement I-976 during the legislative session,” Millar added. “It is important to note that projects and grants not included in the list may also be affected by legislative deliberations to amend the 2019-21 transportation budget to reflect the passage of I-976.”
The list reflects the delay of the following project types:
- Construction projects that add capacity to the transportation system scheduled to go out to advertisement in the next six months (including any unexecuted consultant agreements related to these projects).
- State-funded local agency projects with no executed agreement or projects that have a portion of the funds not under agreement.
- Rail grant projects with no executed agreements.
- Public transportation grant projects with no executed agreement and/or no purchase order of equipment or vehicles that have yet been placed.