Geiger Boulevard Work Officially Begins
Groundbreaking was held Tuesday on the Geiger Boulevard infrastructure improvement project west of Spokane.
The improvements will allow more traffic and heavier trucks on the roadway. Local officials hope the work will attract new businesses to the area; a prime example, the massive 2.6 million square foot Amazon Distribution Center being constructed there.
Tom Florino, Amazon's senior manager for economic development, says the improvements will help his business and pave the way for more companies in the area.
“I think the vision for Spokane County is so bright. And what is just amazing to hear when I talk to Commissioner French is how many projects have come into the pipeline since we made the announcement. And that’s ultimately what we want to see. Amazon wants to be a catalyst for economic development and empowerment. And we are excited other companies are following our lead and creating jobs in Spokane,” Florino said.
Washington Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar explained how funding was achieved. Part of it came through the “Connecting Washington" package that lawmakers approved in 2015.
“That was our gas tax increase. Everybody is going what am I getting for my gas tax? What you’re getting are these two interchanges, and other improvements all over the Spokane area, and all over the state that come back to you. These are the user fees you pay, and these are the improvements you are getting,” he said.
In addition to a $14 million BUILD grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, is another $28 million committed by the county and its partners.