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Lawmaker wants to block funding for project

State Rep. Beverly Woods, (R-Kingston) says she fully supports the revitalization of Bremerton, just not the proposed tunnel project.

Woods has proposed an amendment in the House version of the state transportation budget that could block federal funding for the tunnel.

The amendment states that state toll credits could not be used as matching funds for federal money allocated to build the tunnel.

“I am for the revitalization of Bremerton and have personally worked on revitalization since my days as executive director of the chamber of commerce,” Woods said.

Woods said she thinks the city would like people coming off the ferry to see the revitalization efforts instead of driving through a tunnel.

There are other less expensive alternatives for funneling traffic from the ferry than the tunnel that need to be explored, she said.

“I am not a proponent of the tunnel and look at it as something some people want,” she said.

With a scarcity of funding in the state budget, Woods said funding should go to addressing immediate transportation concerns.

“We have bridges that are crumbling. That is a need,” she said. “I look at this tunnel as a want.”

Additionally Woods said that even though the tunnel is federally funded project that state will bear a significant amount of costs in the long run.

“It’s on a state route and the state will be responsible for the maintenance of the project,” she said.

Woods said she also is concerned about how the concerns of Bremerton residents opposed to the tunnel were addressed on the local level.

“I feel like the citizens of Bremerton didn’t get their voice heard at the City Council level,” she said.

Those residents made their opposition known to her during a town hall meeting in East Bremerton in March, she said.

“I have heard from the citizens of Bremerton for at least a year about the Bremerton tunnel and how they don’t want it,” Woods said.

Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman said he is disappointed by Woods’ actions and still believes the tunnel is the right course of action for the city.

“Norm Dicks and Senator Patty Murray have worked hard for this project, which is going to help our ability to become more pedestrian,” Bozeman said.

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