I-976 Updates

11/26/19 – WSDOT media statement

After the Nov. 5 election, Gov. Inslee directed WSDOT to postpone projects not yet underway. The postponed project list (pdf 256 kb) reflects the delay of the following:

  • Construction projects that add capacity to the transportation system scheduled to go out to advertisement in the next six months (including any unexecuted consultant agreements related to these projects).
  • State funded local agency projects with no executed agreement or projects that have a portion of the funds not under agreement. 
  • Rail grant projects with no executed agreements.
  • Public Transportation grant projects with no executed agreement and/or no purchase order of equipment or vehicles have yet been placed.

WSDOT is assuming a delay of these projects for at least six months.

The work to determine which projects are postponed is not simple, nor a task taken lightly. This list (pdf 256 kb) reflects deliberative work as transportation projects are complex. Each project is unique in terms of current project phase, how they are funded and structured– often a blend of local, state and federal dollars – and all required close examination to determine what postponement could mean from a funding and contractual perspective. 

By delaying the obligation of funds, WSDOT provides the Governor and Legislature more funding flexibility to determine how to implement I-976 during the legislative session. It is important to note that projects and grants not included in the list (pdf 256 kb) may also be affected by legislative deliberations to amend the 2019-21 transportation budget to reflect passage of I-976. Additionally, all new grant-funded project solicitations will be on hold until we are given further direction by the Legislature and Governor.

This list (pdf 256 kb) does not include preservation, specific safety-related projects, fish passage, or specific grant projects designed to serve or keep vulnerable populations safe. Preservation and safety projects will move forward and are critical to the safe operation of our multimodal transportation system. Fish passage projects are also moving forward to ensure the state meets the federal court injunction deadline. Grant projects that are designed to serve or keep vulnerable populations safe include programs such as bike/ped safety grants, safe routes to school grants and public transportation programs like state special needs and rural mobility grants.

11/7/19 – WSDOT media statement

On Nov. 6, in response to the passage of I-976, Gov. Inslee gave direction to the department to postpone projects not yet underway. Specifically, this applies to the construction of capital expansion projects. Delaying construction for these projects gives the Governor and Legislature time to determine how to implement the initiative as they work toward an amended budget next session. WSDOT is working to determine specific projects affected by this directive.

This direction does not include fish passage, preservation or specific safety-related projects. WSDOT will continue to move forward on these specific types of projects as the deadline for the federal court injunction related to fish passage is imminent and preservation and safety work is critical to the safe operation of our multimodal transportation system.

WSDOT continues to work with the Governor’s Office, the Legislature and the Office of Financial Management to answer questions, determine actions for WSDOT to take prior to and by Dec. 5, 2019, when the ballot measure takes effect.

11/6/19 – WSDOT media statement

It is still too soon to say how the initiative’s effects will be felt by the traveling public served by the Washington State Department of Transportation. Assuming it does pass, at a high level, WSDOT knows that the loss to transportation accounts used by our agency during the 2019–21 biennium is estimated to be $451 million out of a $6.7 billion biennial budget, assuming an implementation date of Dec. 5, 2019. For 2021–23, the effect for the full biennium is estimated at $645 million, and for 2023–25 the revenue loss is estimated at $726 million. This is a significant loss to specific programs supported by our agency budget.

In the coming days and weeks, WSDOT will work closely with the Governor’s Office, the Legislature and the Office of Financial Management to answer questions, determine actions for WSDOT to take prior to and by Dec. 5, 2019, when the ballot measure takes effect. Together we will work to ensure that policy makers understand the tradeoffs as they determine how to implement the initiative.