Congressional inaction blamed for languishing Spokane highway project

The North Spokane Corridor (NSC), a multi-billion-dollar project to extend a highway north, around Spokane, Washington, is at a stand-still, half-built, and U.S. Department of Transportation officials blame Congress.

The 10.5-mile section of road is meant to connect the US-395 highway with Interstate 90, providing an alternate route through north Spokane and relieving traffic in the area. The project broke ground in 2001, but Federal Highway Administration Deputy Administrator Gregory Nadeau said completion has been hampered by continual funding shortfalls.

The NSC project has received small amounts of cash through 33 short-term transportation funding measures passed in Congress over the past six years, but Nadeau said a large infrastructure investment bill is what’s needed to get the NSC and numerous other community transport projects moving forward.

“They need the substantial investment this nation has put off for far too long,” Nadeau said. “They need a long-term timeline that lets communities plan and invest in projects that will create jobs, improve residents' quality of life and help the local economy grow.”

Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx put the GROW AMERICA bill before Congress in March as an attempt to bring about just such a long-term infrastructure investment.

If passed, the bill would increase U.S. investment in transportation by 45 percent over six years, which Foxx said would allow communities to better plan ahead for new transportation infrastructure projects.

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U.S. Department of Transportation

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