Leaders explain difficulties to fund transportation needs with Washington Transportation Commission

PULLMAN, WA - When it comes to solving local transportation issues, city and county officials said their largest struggle is often a lack of funding for improvement projects.

The Washington State Transportation Commission held a meeting at Pullman's City Hall Wednesday to hear from local leaders. Pullman Public Works Director Kevin Gardes explained the city's street fund depends on utility and gas taxes, which don't keep up with inflation.

"We've had to cut back our street fund budget, the rehabilitation work we do from $600,000 a year to $300,000," said Gardes.

Gardes said Pullman also has a traffic congestion problem. He said it'll get worse if Washington State University decides to close off Stadium Way to through-traffic because it's one of the city's main arterial roads.

Representatives from the city of Colfax, Whitman County, and the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport also delivered presentations.