Via press release the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe said it is celebrating the conclusion of its successful advocacy effort to expedite the completion of safety improvements on State Route 18 in East King County, adjacent to the Tribe’s reservation.
Last October the Snoqualmie Tribe (and Casino) had offered Washington State $1 million in funding to expedite the process of widening and instituting new safety measures on SR-18 from Raging River to Issaquah Hobart Road, one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in the State.
At end of April the State Legislature voted to invest $26.9 million in new funding for the project over the next four fiscal years, not counting Snoqualmie’s offered contribution that will be used for the planning and engineering stage of the widening project.
“Safety on our roadways is always our top priority,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “I appreciate that legislators, local leaders and the Snoqualmie Tribe were able to secure funding that will expedite the early steps of this project. This will not only improve the safety of this busy corridor, but it will help support the economic vitality of this community.”
“The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe is deeply thankful to Governor Jay Inslee, our state legislators Senator Mark Mullet, Representative Lisa Callan, and Representative Bill Ramos, and our partners in local government and business for all working together to improve the safety of East King County,” said Snoqualmie Chairman Robert de los Angeles. “Over 500 Tribal employees, and many more Tribal citizens, travel that dangerous stretch of road every day, and we have lost dearly beloved community members and employees to accidents. I know everyone in our area will breathe a sigh of relief knowing our state is urgently addressing this crisis.”
The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe said it estimates a traffic fatality occurs in this area roughly every 50 days. Addressing this hazardous stretch of highway was the top legislative priority of the Snoqualmie Indian Tribal Council in 2019.