Schoesler supports SR-26 passing lane project in Senate transportation budget

Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, is applauding the 2019-21 Senate transportation budget’s inclusion of an $11.15 million project that would add climbing lanes on State Route 26 between Dusty and Colfax in Whitman County.

“I’m very pleased to see the Senate budget not only includes funding for the climbing lanes on SR-26, but it would provide all $11 million-plus for this project in the 2019-21 budget period, which means construction could begin as early as next year if the House agrees with the Senate’s funding timeline for this project,” said Schoesler.

“There has been a real need for climbing lanes along this stretch of Highway 26 because it currently is very unsafe for drivers to pass due to limited visibility caused by hills. Adding climbing lanes will make trips on this part of the highway safer for WSU students and area residents,” added Schoesler, who praised Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson for organizing a grass-roots effort to secure funding for climbing lanes on SR-26. Schoesler also lauded Senate Transportation Committee Chair Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, and Yakima Sen. Curtis King, the committee’s ranking Republican, for moving up the project’s timeline so it can be completed sooner.           

Schoesler joined the rest of the Senate Thursday in voting 47-0 to approve the Senate transportation budget, which was amended onto the House budget, Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1160. Because the Senate amended its own transportation budget onto the House version, Senate and House transportation budget leaders are expected to meet to work out differences as the 2019 legislative session nears its April 28 completion date.