At a bill signing ceremony today at Bellevue City Hall, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law the 2010 supplemental transportation budget and a number of bills to move forward on the 520 bridge replacement project.
"We are making investments in our transportation system across the state and leveraging federal recovery dollars to get more done, to put more people to work and to get our economy on a path to recovery," Gregoire said. "Replacing the 520 bridge is about protecting public safety and maintaining a vibrant economy. The laws signed today will get us going to make sure we open the new bridge on time in 2014."
Joined by elected, civic, business and labor leaders from both sides of Lake Washington, Gregoire signed a bill that would allow the state to proceed with additional work on the 520 bridge replacement project. Bonds backed by 520 toll revenue can now be used for any portion of the project, not just the floating bridge portion under the new law.
"We appreciate the support of the Legislature and Governor Gregoire in enacting legislation that allows us to begin building the SR 520 eastside corridor," said Paula Hammond, Washington Transportation Secretary. "We will not only take advantage of a great bidding climate by starting the project now, we will also provide real travel time and safety benefits for transit riders, carpoolers and commuters that rely on this corridor every day."
The new law also directs that $200 million is set aside to help fund improvements on the west side of the project and creates workgroups to improve transit connections and to make recommendations and refinements to the final design of the west side.
"The City of Bellevue and our neighboring cities have been working with the state for over a decade to plan and design the replacement of the 520 bridge," said Bellevue Mayor Don Davidson. "It has been a long process and we are pleased that with this bill, the state will be able to begin work immediately to provide a safer bridge, transit improvements and congestion relief for this vital corridor."
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