Wednesday, February 06, 2008

HB 3158: A Bridge to Bridge Funding?

Jason Hagey reports today in The News Tribune that Washington State legislators are considering a bill that would allow the City of Tacoma to tap sales tax revenue for fixing the Murray Morgan Bridge.

Introduced this Session by Representative Dennis Flannigan, HB 3158 would allow Tacoma to create a transportation improvement district and impose an additional 0.2 percent sales tax for maintenance and operation, generating $54 million in new funds of the bridge. This new revenue, along with the $26 million set aside for demolition, would bring the total funding available to $80 million--enough to bridge the current funding gap forestalling full rehabilitation of the 94-year-old structure.

The Washington State Department of Transportation closed the bridge, which connects downtown with the Port of Tacoma across the Thea Foss Waterway, last fall after an inspection found it unsafe for traffic.