Rep. Dave Hayes’ transportation streamline permitting reform bills clear House
The Washington House of Representatives has approved a pair of bills sponsored by Rep. Dave Hayes that would save the state and taxpayers money by streamlining the permitting processes of transportation projects and replacement of structurally deficient bridges owned by cities and counties.
House Bill 1850 would exempt certain transportation projects from local review or permit processes under the Shoreline Management Act.
“One of the biggest cost drivers of transportation projects is the extensive permitting process which unnecessarily delays construction and delivers nothing but a lot of headaches and bureaucratic red tape,” said Hayes, R-Camano Island.
The 10th District lawmaker said the permit streamlining provisions under the bill would provide more efficiency for routine maintenance projects, such as resurfacing and restriping highways and improving safety structures.
“The local review process really slows down regular and routine maintenance projects, which makes them more expensive. House Bill 1850 would exempt certain projects from the lengthy and cumbersome review process,” noted Hayes.
Washington State Department of Transportation projects and activities that would be exempt under the measure include:
- maintenance, repair, reconstruction, restoration, or retrofitting of any road, highway, bridge, tunnel, or transit facility, including ancillary transportation facilities; and
- construction or installation of safety structures and equipment, not including new travel lanes or the expansion of transportation facilities.
House Bill 1851 would speed up the permitting and contracting process of replacing bridges owned by local governments that are rated “structurally deficient.”
“Time is money — taxpayers' money. We know from the experience of replacing the Skagit River Bridge section in only a few months that by streamlining and speeding up the permitting process, results can be delivered in a much shorter amount of time that cost less and protect the environment,” said Hayes.
“Taxpayers in Washington and in my district have been very frustrated as they see their transportation dollars being wasted with cost overruns on the 520 bridge, the Bertha drilling machine being stuck in a tunnel for two years, and other mismanagement. If we are to regain the public's trust, we need to enact reforms that provide greater cost- and time-saving efficiencies and deliver solid results,” Hayes added. “These two bills are significant toward providing some of those reforms.”
Both measures passed the House unanimously Tuesday. They are being sent to the Senate for further consideration.
#1. Rep. Dave Hayes asks lawmakers in the House to support his legislation that would streamline the permitting process of certain transportation projects.
#2. Road construction on Interstate 90 at Snoqualmie Pass.
###Washington State House Republican Communications