Gregoire to propose major transportation package

Gov. Chris Gregoire is preparing a new transportation package that would rival the major deal she helped approve in 2005.

Gregoire said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday that she will detail her plan during a budget proposal next week. The 2005 package included a 9.5-cent gas tax increase and other revenues that were slated to total $7 billion over the span of 16 years.

Gregoire says there are great needs to fund basic maintenance of the state’s transportation infrastructure. The state is also looking to pay for major projects such as the Columbia River Crossing in Vancouver, the 520 bridge in Seattle and the North Spokane Corridor.

The Democrat hadn’t settled on how the projects will be funded. A spokesman for Gov.-elect Jay Inslee says he is working on his legislative agenda and wouldn’t say he supports Gregoire’s proposal.