It’s been a tough six months for Mike Gribner.
First, in November, the administrator of the Washington Department of Transportation’s eastern region saw Initiative 976 pass.
That measure, which is still being wrangled over in court, will save car owners on the price of their registration fees if it becomes law. But those savings will cost Gribner much of his budget for maintaining Eastern Washington roads.
Gribner had been “raising the alarm bells” about road preservation needs since before voters approved that initiative, he said this week. But “the initiative exacerbated that situation significantly.”
“That basically halved my 10-year preservation plan,” Gribner said. “It also created some programming instructions that are going to be problematic for the public.”
Those new instructions are guidelines for what maintenance work the Transportation Department is allowed to pursue as it attempts to stretch its shrinking bottom line. And under those instructions, some pretty fundamental