Snoqualmie Mayor to ask state for SR 18 fix again

King 5 News

By John Langeler

SNOQUALMIE, Wash. -- As lawmakers in Olympia push towards a state transportation budget, officials in Snoqualmie are preparing to make a second push to fix what they call an overlooked, but important issue.

For years, increased development has led to more traffic at the Interstate 90 interchange with State Route 18. During most rush hour periods, lines of cars and trucks spill onto the freeway and up arterials leading to the intersection.

In October, Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson and other nearby city leaders wrote to state lawmakers, asking for the project to upgrade the bottleneck to be included in the new package.

However, the Senate's proposal does not include SR 18.

"We were a little disappointed," said Mayor Larson, "This (project) doesn't seem to be getting the appropriate attention."

State Sen. Joe Fain (R-Auburn) is vice chairman of the transportation committee, and said Friday he fought for the project to be included, but there were other priorities.

"I would love nothing more than to see the House put the project on their package," he explained, "If the House makes it a priority, we can talk about it again."

Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island), chair of the House transportation committee declined to comment.

Washington's Department of Transportation has plans to upgrade the interchange, but on the project's website, points out it is not funded.

Mayor Larson plans to head to Olympia on Wednesday for public testimony on the Senate transportation package, in an effort to sway lawmakers again.

Snoqualmie City Council members are also scheduled to discuss funding a $150,000 study on traffic patterns with its own money.