Included in the Washington Governor’s Container Ports Initiative are strategies for increasing mainline rail capacity in Washington, improved truck freight movement and work to resolve land use compatibility and protection issues. The governor pointed out this strategy “challenges Washingtonians to invest in changes we can count on.” These include investments in critical infrastructure to ensure goods are delivered to their markets in a timely fashion. “The ports of Seattle and Tacoma serve as vital international gateways for the import and export of goods and provide a critical foundation for [the state of Washington’s] trade economy,” she said, in part.
The Governor’s Container Ports Initiative includes recognition that a key Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) line through the Stampede Pass tunnel is constrained from double stacking containers by the tunnel height. The Governor announced a state commitment of $25 million to a tunnel project. In addition, the state transportation budget for 2007-2009 contains $81.6 million for critical freight projects to improve drayage from the ports and reduce congestion. The Governor also announced commitments to help resolve conflicts on land use in critical industrial shoreline property.