Will last Thursday’s collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River help legislators and residents understand that, as expensive as on-going maintenance of roads, bridges, and ferries might be, it’s nothing compared to the cost of complete replacement? It was extremely fortunate that just two cars ended up in the river and no one was seriously hurt, but we can’t count on being as lucky the next time. And there will be a next time if we don’t do a better job with maintenance.
Our state legislature is in special session until June 11. One of the things still under consideration is some sort of transportation tax. Just a week ago, Governor Inslee had this to say about a transportation tax:
“One of the most important things we can do is to keep I-5 healthy,” he told the crowd. “We know that this is the aorta of the economy in the state of Washington. We need to build a bridge across the Columbia to make sure that the entire economy of the state of Washington does not depend on rotting wood pilings sunk in the Columbia River mud in 1917. We ought to get that bill this year.” (Governor Takes Breathtaking Gamble on Columbia River Bridge Project)
What do you suppose he thinks now?
Please take time this week to write or call state legislators about funding to support infrastructure maintenance for roads, bridges, and ferries. The Ferry Community Partnership has updated its rack card and we have added San Juan Islands-specific facts. You can use this information as the basis for speaking points and also add it to an email letter as an attachment. Contact information for our state legislators can be accessed here.