Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Washington state now has highest gas prices in the nation!
In June of this year, Washington state surpassed California with the highest gas prices in the nation at $4.91 per gallon. As of Monday, Washingtonians were paying $4.96 for a gallon of gas, with California second at $4.87, followed by Hawaii at $4.69, and Oregon at $4.62. We are $1.42 higher than the national average of $3.54.
Much of this increase is due to a policy pushed by Gov. Jay Inslee and majority party Democrats in Olympia: Cap and Trade (or the Climate Commitment Act, CCA). According to some estimates, the CCA is currently adding $.44 per gallon for gas and $.55 for diesel.
Increased fuel prices land squarely on the backs of those who can least afford it and severely impacts the working middle class. As the public pushes back on this scheme, we will be looking at further options to eliminate or reform the CCA, or provide rebates to licensed drivers. The state is taking in a windfall of money from the CCA; money that should go back to the people instead of the governor’s pet global warming projects. If you are angry about the price of gas, please know you are not alone! I am too! And the responsibility lies at the feet of Gov. Inslee and Democrat legislators who voted for the CCA.
Local transportation construction projects
I worked with the ranking Republican on the House Transportation Committee, Rep. Andrew Barkis, to help obtain more than $35 million in new funding for local transportation projects in the 18th Legislative District. This is on top of nearly $87 million for the 179th interchange replacement project and $275 million designated for the new I-5 bridge over the Columbia River. While this is all good news for local commuters and our local economies, transportation projects can impact daily driving. Here are some of the projects in our area this summer. Be on the lookout:
Project: I-5 Northbound / North Fork Lewis River Bridge – Bridge Deck Repair and Overlay
Location: Northbound I-5 just south of Exit 21 in Woodland in Clark and Cowlitz Counties (milepost 19.87)
Impacts: For two months, seven days a week, three lanes will be reduced to two narrow lanes which will create long backups and significant delays. The most significant impacts anticipated could include more than 50 minutes of delay on Friday afternoons between La Center and Woodland.
Schedule: Work is expected to begin in late July.
Project: SR 433/Lewis and Clark Bridge – Finger Joint Replacement
Location: SR 433 bi-state bridge connecting Longview, WA and Rainer, OR
Impacts: Total closure of the bridge for up to eight days, nearest detours for vehicle traffic are the Astoria-Megler Bridge or I-5 Interstate Bridge.
Schedule: Nightly single lane closures will begin the week of June 26, with the full closure beginning Sunday, July 16 at 8 p.m. During the following times travelers should expect longer delays and congestion due to nighttime single lane closures:
- 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. Sundays through Fridays
- 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Fridays to Saturdays
- 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. Saturdays to Sundays.
Project: I-5/I-205 – Concrete Panel Replacement and Joint Rehabilitation
Location: Both directions of I-205 between the Glenn Jackson Bridge near the SR 14 interchange and the I-5/I-205 split and along southbound I-5 between Northeast 179th Street and the I-5/I-205 split.
Impacts: Lanes will be closed from 7 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. along stretches of I-5 or I-205. A few ramps may also close near each of the work zones and the speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph in the work zones.
Schedule: Work is expected to begin later in June and to be completed by Fall.
For real time traffic updates and access to DOT road cameras, you can download the mobile WSDOT app or Sign up for email alerts. Users will get traffic impact notifications and advisories delivered to their inboxes.
Please let my office know if you have questions or concerns about state transportation construction projects in our area.