Spokane City Councilmember, Northeast Public Development Authority speak on Inslee’s proposed transportation budget

North Spokane Corridor

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane City Councilmember Michael Cathcart and the Northeast Public Development Authority each released statements related to Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s proposed transportation budget.

The plan would affect the construction of the North Spokane Corridor.

Cathcart, who is the Board Chair of the NEPDA, said the following:

“It’s frankly shocking that such an irresponsible proposal has been submitted by the governor, which if approved by the Legislature, would significantly delay the construction of the North Spokane Corridor (NSC). This is a critical infrastructure investment that not only improves connectivity but will also be a huge economic development driver, particularly for the people and jobs in northeast Spokane that I have the privilege of advocating for on the Spokane City Council. Today, I am calling on Senate Majority Leader Billig and Spokane’s entire legislative delegation to ensure no cuts in funding. After literally decades of constituents waiting for this investment there must be no further delays.”

NEPDA Executive Director Jesse Bank released the following statement as well:

“The Northeast Public Development Authority was formed to make investments in and help guide the development of northeast Spokane in anticipation of the inevitable growth accompanying completion of the NSC. The NEPDA now has the tools to make those investments and is being joined by local businesses who see the potential for a bright future. There is an undeniable sense of optimism and momentum building for this area to finally shake free from decades of disinvestment and poverty, and further significant delays to the NSC project put all that hard work, dedication, and investment in jeopardy. The NEPDA calls on the State Legislature to do right by this community and allocate the needed funding to complete this already-underway project in a timely fashion.”

Gov. Inslee released his biennial transportation budget on December 14, outlining a 16-year spending plan for the Department of Transportation’s capital construction programs.

Under this plan, the North Spokane Corridor likely wouldn’t be finished until 2033-2035, six years from the expected completion in 2027-2029.

The North-South freeway, which was conceived in 1946 and broke ground in 2001, would offer a route directly connecting north and south Spokane without using current surface roads, like Division Street.

RELATED: Gov. Inslee’s proposed budget could create years-long delays for North-South freeway project