Gov. Inslee vetoes I-5/Exit 274 project funding from state transportation bill

Just as Blaine residents began to get their hopes up, Governor Jay Inslee opted to veto the I-5/Exit 274 interchange project from a sweeping transportation bill passed by the state senate last month.

His signature was the last step remaining before $12,100,000 was allotted for the first phase of the project, which was years in the making and aimed at improving access to Blaine.

Proposed was a new southbound off-ramp on Interstate 5 at Exit 274 onto Peace Portal Drive. Additional improvements included the construction of a direct northbound connection to the industrial area from the existing northbound off ramp; the route would have been reconfigured to connect to
Odell Street.

Currently, Exit 276 is the first southbound exit from the border and is six miles away from the next available off-ramp.

In a statement released on May 16, the governor cited insufficient information about the scope and cost for the project as the reason behind the veto.

“The I-5/Exit 274 interchange project in Blaine does not appear in LEAP Transportation Document 2017-1, nor is there any information about project scope,” read the statement. “This LEAP transportation document should not be amended for a project without sufficient information about its scope and cost. For this reason, I have vetoed [the project from the bill].”

The Northern Light will update this story.

  1. So, who do I blame? There are precious few Democrats in Blaine already. Why would Governor Inslee be foolish enough to turn us against him? On the other hand, if the project proposal has been “years in the making”, why wasn’t there “sufficient information about the scope and cost”? Personally, I think the Governor’s excuse sounds pretty lame. There aren’t enough voters here to justify spending $12M+ for improved access to Blaine. We might as well be living in Canada.


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