Washington State Transportation Commission meets in Pasco - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington State Transportation Commission meets in Pasco

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PASCO, Wash.-- The Washington State Transportation Commission met Tuesday in Pasco with local officials to discuss issues affecting the area and how to make improvements.

Many of those proposed improvements will have to wait. Federal money for transportation projects has been reduced and all state money is already committed to projects.

Transportation infrastructure makes up less than fourteen percent of the state budget and the legislature has set aside nine billion dollars for transportation funding over the next two years. But that money only goes so far when most projects have multi-million dollar price tags.

If the region wants to make some of the proposed projects a reality, the Commission says they'll have to find the money themselves.

"Maybe later with some support from the legislature there will be some additional funds but right now I think we're at a point where there aren't going to be substantial improvements. There will be maintenance and that sort of thing," says Dan O'Neal, Chairman of the Washington State Transportation Commission.

Today's meeting also focused on growth at the airport. The airport projects an increase of about one hundred thousand passengers in the next decade and their need for expansion and a proposed runway extension.

They also discussed Ben Franklin Transit's efforts for energy efficiency. They are starting a demonstration project using a rebuilt electric transit bus.