Rep. Mark Harmsworth says root problem on I-405 not solved


Legislator: Rep. Mark Harmsworth
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The writing is on the wall.  Those are the words of Representative Mark Harmsworth of Mill Creek following the release of a letter this week from Democrats concerning the I-405 toll lanes.  Ruth Johnson reports from Olympia.

Harmsworth: “It’s not enough.”

Johnson:  Republican Mark Harmsworth, reacting to the release of a letter by Democrats announcing proposed modifications on the I-405 corridor.

Harmsworth:  The root of the issue still hasn’t been solved, which is congestion during rush hour traffic.”  

Johnson:  The letter states the DOT will drop tolls on nights, weekends and holidays, something Harmsworth proposed months ago.

But Harmsworth’s legislation asks for more.  He wants to convert one of two tolled lanes back to full-time general purpose use from Bothell to Bellevue.  The Democrats have held up his bill, refusing a vote.

And now, their letter.

Harmsworth: “A letter, while it’s nice, and I’m hoping they adopt what’s in the letter, it’s not a binding document.  So DOT could choose to ignore it, they could choose to delay implementation.”

Johnson:  Although Harmsworth’s bill has been, essentially stymied in the House, a companion bill remains active in the Senate.

Ruth Johnson, Olympia.

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