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Inslee: No bridge in transportation deal

October 22, 2013 J

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee says he still wants to call a special session of the Legislature to pass a transportation revenue package this November, but a new Interstate 5 bridge across the Columbia River won’t be part of the deal.

Inslee has championed the Columbia River Crossing but said Tuesday he won’t try to include the bridge in a tax plan to fund statewide road improvements, and would be content having Oregon take the lead on replacing the connection between Vancouver, Wash., and Portland.

Legislative leaders will meet Oct. 29 to see if they can agree on a transportation plan, Inslee said. The governor said he will only call lawmakers back to Olympia in November if he is confident a deal is at hand.

Also Tuesday, a helicopter tour gave Inslee an aerial view of one of the state’s biggest traffic choke points — the area surrounding Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Military brass told Inslee what the base is doing to relieve gridlock, including building a new gate on the section of the base north of Interstate 5 and a road and bridge that will connect the Air Force and Army sections of the base.

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