McCaslin bill would prioritize road preservation and maintenance

Legislation introduced this week in Olympia would officially prioritize road preservation and maintenance in state transportation planning.

Rep. Bob McCaslin, R-Spokane Valley and prime sponsor of House Bill 2285, said with all the focus on transportation funding and $30 car tabs, now is the time to prioritize existing transportation infrastructure.

“I understand the need to plan for more capacity, especially as our state continues to grow, adding more commuters and drivers to our roads around the state,” said McCaslin, a member of the House Transportation Committee. “But we can't continue to neglect the preservation and maintenance of what we've already built. Each year we allow the backlog of these projects to grow, making it much more difficult to catch back up.”

McCaslin's bill does not increase fees or taxes, or allocate or change existing transportation dollars. He said it is a matter of changing the state's outlook on roads and prioritizing what is really important. His bill states:

“In the 2019 transportation asset management plan, the department of transportation proclaimed a critical need for additional funding to maintain the existing assets on the transportation network. The legislature acknowledges the critical need for resilience and preservation of the existing system, and intends the transportation public policy of this state to embody that public priority.”

“If something is truly a priority, it will get funded,” said McCaslin. “Right now our backlog on preservation and maintenance is staggering. It's time to make it a priority in our transportation planning and give the people of this state a transportation system that is safe, reliable and in good repair.”


Washington State House Republican Communications