“The state House approved a supplemental transportation budget Friday [Feb. 22] that includes helping the Thurston County sheriff’s office and putting $5.1 million back into the Yelm bypass…
Minority Republicans are strenuously objecting, saying Olympia is doing too little to fix the state’s toughest transportation problems. Democrats say they’re keeping all promised projects moving ahead.
South Sound lawmakers voting for the budget were Republican Rep. Tom Campbell of Roy and Democratic Reps. William Eickmeyer of Belfair, Kathy Haigh of Shelton, Sam Hunt of Olympia and Williams.
Voting against were Republican Reps. Gary Alexander of Thurston County, Richard DeBolt of Chehalis and Jim McCune of Graham…
Meanwhile, the Yelm bypass is meant to keep some regional traffic out of the city’s clogged downtown. Gov. Chris Gregoire proposed spending $18.99 million more on the project during 2007-09, but the House Democrats’ draft budget this week cut that by $9.4 million.
House Transportation Committee Chairwoman Judy Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, said it was a mistake, so nearly $5.1 million was put back [there is still a $4.3 million shortfall!].
Williams [Rep. Brendan Williams, D-Olympia] said the restored money should cover concerns from Campbell and ensure the state purchases rights-of-way for the long-term project. The House plan delays an additional $4.3 million that Gregoire proposed for 2009-11,” quoting The Olympian.
Quoting Rep. Tom Campbell, “There are still funds for Yelm. I am working hard with Rep Clibborn, chair of the Transportation committee, to see that’s so.”
Rep. Campbell told those gathered at his Yelm Town Hall Meeting on February 9th that he will be working diligently to insure the bypass is fully funded. He said he is very optimistic.
As I previously stated on December 26, 2007, the timelines are being pushed later as the Washington State Transportation Budget is severely pressed with high-priority items. The Bypass is still many years off [7+ at least] before a ribbon-cutting can occur. What will happen with Yelm’s traffic in the interim?
REMEMBER: The Yelm Super Wal-Mart was only permitted with their traffic mitigated by a Bypass. So, for almost 10 years after their 2007 opening, there will be no Bypass to mitigate their traffic. We should call on our city’s officials NOT to permit construction UNLESS A ROAD TO MITIGATE TRAFFIC AS A RESULT OF THE CONSTRUCTION IS ACTUALLY FUNDED!