Investing in Bothell’s future | Guest editorial

State Sen. Guy Palumbo shares a bit about what’s coming to Bothell infrastructure.

  • Wednesday, May 15, 2019 8:30am
  • Opinion

Over the past decade, Bothell has seen a boom in population and economic growth — and the related impacts. The city’s downtown revitalization is one of the brightest spots of that boom. However, the state has been largely absent in its support for infrastructure spending to support the growth in our community.

As you may remember, the state passed a once-in-a-decade transportation package in 2015, and our district only received $10 million in projects out of $16 billion in taxes. I’m proud to say today that, working together with local and state leaders, we have collectively turned that tide over the past three years.

Since 2017, our district has received $727 million in transportation projects and an additional $141 million in capital projects.

Anyone who lives around Bothell knows that the lack of state transportation investments over the past decade has left us with a terrible traffic problem. Thanks to a coalition of supporters and a partnership with the Bothell City Council, especially Mayor Andy Rheaume and Deputy Mayor Davina Duerr, we were able to secure $640 million in state funding to improve I-405 this past session.

This new investment will pay for new lanes between SR 522 and SR 527, direct connectors for transit and HOV lanes, and a complete rebuild of the SR 522/527 interchange. These projects will be completed in time for the arrival of the I-405 Bus Rapid Transit project in 2024.

We have also secured several important quality-of-life improvements for our community. Over the past three years, we have funded better pedestrian and bike mobility, including $2 million for Safe Routes to School in Bothell, as well as $250,000 for improvements in the SR 527 corridor.

We have invested in recreational opportunities, including $2 million for a new park on the Sammamish River at the former Wayne Golf Course, $4.4 million for downtown revitalization and environmental cleanups in Bothell, and $1 million for a new bridge at the Park at Bothell Landing.

Finally, the Legislature has made significant investments in our higher education and high tech cluster around the University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia College. Over the past three years, we have put $108.8 million into construction projects there, including a new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Building at UW Bothell that will be shared with Cascadia.

We are also helping jump start job growth in biomedical technology in Bothell. A $700,000 investment in the Canyon Park growth center plan will map out a course for attracting new businesses and growing existing ones. And we’re investing $2 million into a workforce pipeline by supporting enrollment in high-need biomedical fields at UW Bothell and establishing a new regional workforce training facility in Bothell for biomanufacturing and biotechnology.

While we have made great progress over the past three years, we still have more to do. With continued collaboration between state and local officials, we are well-positioned to obtain further investments in our community that will lay the groundwork for greater prosperity and a higher quality of life for decades to come.

Guy Palumbo (D-Maltby) represents the 1st Legislative District in the state Senate as chair of the Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee and vice chair of the Environment, Energy & Technology Committee.

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