U.S. 101 widening funds not part of 9.5-cent gasoline tax increase

The only money in the state Department of Transportation’s latest budget for widening two-lane U.S. Highway 101 between Shore Road and Kitchen-Dick Road east of Port Angeles is to buy a portion of right of way for the project.

Lloyd Brown, the agency’s regional spokesman, confirmed last week that as much as $30 million for the long-sought widening project was in at least one budget draft — but it was not in the final version that calls for a 9.5 cent per gallon gas tax increase phased in starting July 1.

The 16-year $8.5 billion transportation budget passed the state Senate by a 26-22 vote on April 20 and the state House by a 54-43 vote on April 24, the final day of the session.

Gov. Christine Gregoire signed the budget on May 9.

Rep. Jim Buck, R-Joyce, and Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, voted against it.

Rep. Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, voted for it on the final day, but had cast a no vote the day before.

As House majority leader, she was instrumental in helping Gregoire getting the House revote that passed the bill only hours before the Legislature adjourned for 2005.

Buck, Kessler and Hargrove, represent the 24th District, which includes Clallam and Jefferson counties and part of Grays Harbor County.

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