Seattle Waterfront History Interviews: Paula Hammond, Washington State Secretary of Transportation

  • By Dominic Black
  • Posted 3/19/2023
  • Essay 22669
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Paula Hammond was Washington State Secretary of Transportation from August 2007 to March 2013. She was appointed by Governor Christine Gregoire. In these audio clips she outlines her early experiences as an engineer in a male-dominated industry; her work as Chief of Staff to then transportation secretary Doug MacDonald in the aftermath of the Nisqually earthquake; transportation needs at the time across the state of Washington; and the WSDOT process for evaluating how best to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct along the Seattle waterfront. Hammond spoke with Jennifer Ott and Dominic Black of Historylink on July 30, 2022. 

Women in Engineering

Paula Hammond: I graduated from high school in 1974, and I have a brother who was an engineering graduate that same year from University of Notre Dame, and as he left college and I'm trying to decide what kind of a math science career to pursue, he said, "Go into engineering. Civil engineering, they need women and it's really easy." Well, part of that wasn't true, but I persevered and got a degree in civil engineering from Oregon State University in 1978.

In my class at Oregon State, in our graduating class by the time people had fallen by the wayside, there was eight women and 120 men. and when I came to work at WSDOT, very few women. I was one of the first engineering graduates they had hired in many years. 

DB: So, I realize this isn't about the waterfront. I'm just very curious about how does that proportion of male versus female play out in the culture of something like WSDOT when you arrived? What was the culture like?

PH: Yeah. Tough. Especially as a young, single 22-year-old engineering graduate who moved to a new state.

DB: Does that mean... What is ...

PH: Well it's hard to find friends at work. In those days, WSDOT had a lot of, I would say, middle-aged married kind of folks whose wives were curious why a woman would want to work with them. And so, culturally, it was a tough place to break into, but after about a year, I found my crowd and was very fortunate to be assigned to work on a new office that was created of mostly young people to work and widen the Olympia freeway through the Tumwater through Lacey area, about a 10-mile stretch. So, we were kind of a breakthrough group that then became fast friends, and still many of us are friends today.

DB: When you were into that office, was that an exciting sort of challenge? 

PH: Yeah, of course, because from my first office that I went to as I came to work, I was put on a survey crew, and one of the prevalent party chief comments was "Where's she going to go to the bathroom?" And I said, "Well, I can go wherever you go. Don't worry about me." And he said, "Yeah, right." And so, there was always this feeling of - we don't know if this is a good fit and, we don't know if our wives want us going out on the crew with her, and 1979 folks. This was a lot.

DB: The temptress ...

PH: Yeah, I was such a vixen in my boots and hats and all the whole thing. 

DB: Did you ever feel like, "Maybe I don't want this," or did it just make you more?

PH: Yeah, I really struggled in that first year, and it mostly was trying to find a community inside the Olympia area that I didn't know anybody in, but also is this really what I want to do? But the more I found those people who said, "Hey, after you get this experience, why don't you think about trying this?" and moving around in different parts of the agency and you start getting your footing and your confidence, and I realized pretty much several levels up, I could see myself in those roles, and I decided I could do that job better than that guy could, and I just persevered. I'm a little stubborn which maybe has helped my career, but it was fun and very fulfilling, and I'm so proud of that career, 34 years in the agency, and having seen it transition over the years into just a wonderful place to work and a great culture and a good team of people. 

Lessons of Urban Renewal

PH: I used to joke, and I still believe it's true, that in Washington state, we like to talk about talking about everything. I mean, we revisit so many things before we'll make a decision. On one hand, that's really good, but on the other hand, it's not good if you're not talking to the right people and everybody who has a stake in what's about to happen or be built. And I think the whole engagement process with people has evolved over the years to the point where transportation agencies around the country are recognizing there's a lot of folks who are negatively impacted by the decisions we've made and where we've placed the interstate freeway system and what that left for communities - especially communities of color - and how do we start the conversation with them again in a way that understands where their gaps in transportation are and what their needs are, and then how do we invest in a way that mitigates some of the damage that was done?

So, it's really an exciting time, I think, this new awareness of making decisions for transportation around what people need and what communities need, as opposed to: "We have a freeway we'd like to sell you and we think your property looks the cheapest so we're going to drive this corridor right through here." And that was unfortunately the way we used to do things back in the '70s, '60s. That those years, it was more about creating an interstate system after the Interstate Completion Act or Interstate System Act was passed in the '50s, how do we build this economic engine to connect communities and states and intrastate kinds of commerce? And we didn't think a lot about the communities. And so, now we are, and it's an exciting time.

DB: Are there any projects that you look back on now and you go ...

PH: The thing that I'm saddest about is a term we used to use called Urban Renewal, and I reflect back on that now and Urban Renewal means ugly, cheap, what we considered easy to buy, not a lot of opposition, there's not going to be a huge upswing when we go into these communities. But when we look now at the old maps of the red lining in Puget Sound and where things were placed and how the communities that were affected were truly affected in a way that they were severed from community connections and services, that makes me sad. But I would say being a WSDOT person for so many years knows that there was no malicious behavior in anybody's mind.

It was more, I think, sometimes the path of least resistant helps us get this project that we committed to do done, and there really wasn't a lot of opposition to building and widening in certain areas. And now, especially with the new infrastructure act that was passed at the federal level, and some of the focuses of the administration on equity and resilience and sustainability, DOTs around the country are looking differently at what kind of investments they make and how they connect their communities together. So, like I said, it's an exciting time because it's a whole new perspective.

Chief of Staff to Doug MacDonald 

PH: When I became Chief of Staff was when Doug MacDonald became secretary for Washington State DOT and he came back to Washington, had grown up here … and he brought to WSDOT an ethic - was hired actually by the commission and the governor - to bring accountability and performance management and performance reporting to the agency. We always turned out great projects, we delivered great projects, but engineers by and large don't know how to talk about that, and don't like to pat themselves on the back. So, what Doug brought was this ethic of reporting on our performance and communication: how do we use the money? How do we talk to people about what we're doing? And I think he was attracted to me as his chief of staff because I knew almost every highway in the state, he was new to it, we clicked. You know, it was a good friendship and relationship, and I was eager to learn what he had to bring, and so we made a great team. 

But what a prep for me, then, to see how he did his job and building on all the experience I had over the years that when he retired in 2007, I stepped forward and told the governor I was throwing my hat in the ring. I don't think she knew me from Adam, but we got to know each other, and she ended up picking me.

DB: And what was your vision at that point for the position and for the role?

PH: Well, we were on a really good roll. We had gotten a revenue increase after having not had one since the early '90s. He came in 2001, we got a revenue investment from the legislature in 2003, and then a second one in 2005 because these projects that had been considered and talked about for so many years finally were coming to fruition.

So, my goal was to continue what we started under his administration and tenure, and it was to continue to deliver projects, first and foremost; fulfill the commitments we made to the legislature and the communities on the projects we were going to build; help make some critical decisions on things that needed to be decided, 520 corridor, for example, the floating bridge, there was some 405 work, I mean, and just in this Puget Sound; and then the viaduct as a primary issue that we had to deal with; and we had a ferry system that was limping along and as I understand limping today. So, there's a lot of things that had to happen and I wanted to continue what we'd started, while also making sure that we were open and transparent with the public and the legislature, and continuing the performance management approach to running the agency.

The Viaduct After the Earthquake

PH: The viaduct was damaged, and that was one of the very first things is that our structures crews go out and assess damage whenever something like that happens to see if they're viable to still operate or whether or not we had to close some facilities. And that's when we saw the viaduct cracks and started a monitoring system of whether or not – knowing the waterfront was so vulnerable to liquefaction in that area, the fill that was brought in to build that part of Seattle – really became an issue for us to monitor our foundations, because in fact they were starting to settle and sink because of the damage that was done.

And then we started assessing now what do we need to do, and are all the crews out in every region along the west, and what are the reports coming in and where do things stand? Yes, the viaduct was noted as "Woop, looks like there's cracks," but it wasn't the only one we were worried about. So, it really just opened the door to: now we've got a serious situation and we knew that viaduct was damaged, and that's when we had to start thinking about whether we retrofit it, fix it, put some belt and suspenders on it as you think about the bolts and all the things that went on that bridge for a while, or is it time to replace that bridge? And that's the kinds of conversations that went on probably for the next three or four years before we started getting more refined in an approach to come to some conclusions.

Process and Competing Ideas 

PH: Even when you have an emergency, there's so many different issues that have to be clicked off. So, for the viaduct, for example, first we had to make emergency repairs, no question. That happened. Then you have to start thinking about not only in a visioning opportunity of, "Do we have an opportunity here now to change the Seattle Waterfront and the way this transportation system works within and through the city. Seems like it." But we needed our legislature, our state legislature for the state system, to allocate funding in a way that would support whatever we needed to do.

PH: So, there's all these balls in the air I guess I would say, when you're thinking about what comes first … and everybody had an opinion, and it was a constant issue of juggling and trying to navigate and find a way to a conclusion that folks could support and live with and be excited about for the future.

DB: So, as the Transportation Secretary, what was your view in 2007 about the best option?

PH: By the time we got to 2007, we'd been through a pretty murky area of disagreement with the City of Seattle, and we had hired a consultant, Parsons Brinckerhoff, to come in and do a lot of the engineering, environmental and planning-type concepts and alternatives for what should be there, rather than ... you know ... one was to retrofit the existing viaduct, and then there were ideas to put a bridge across Elliott Bay, and then there were ideas to do a tunnel of some kind. And at the time, there was not proven technology for one single deep bore tunnels ... so, we were looking at a cut-and-cover tunnel. We were looking at twin bore tunnels side by side, one in each direction. And assessing and retrofitting. It's kind of I think the three we got down to, and this is all before ... well, as I was coming. I can't remember the exact dates, but I remember some really tense moments in front of our legislature where we and the City of Seattle sat side by side and didn't agree with each other on what the right course of action was.

Our original concept, or one of the three, was the cut-and-cover tunnel which would've severed the waterfront businesses that were there, and still there today, from all of the commerce for, I don't know, three, four years. And that trench, when you think of cut-and-cover, would basically be a big trench across the waterfront, was really untenable for those businesses, and a lot of legislators got on board with that and said, "We can't do this." There was a public vote of ... I can't remember how all that came down, but in – whether or not we should do that. And the cost of a twin bore tunnel was higher than the trench, the cut and cover. So, there was this whole legislative City of Seattle and the city council, I should say, was very engaged with the mayor on what the right answer should be – and I think back in those days, it was a really engaged transportation-oriented city council. I mean, that was something they cared a lot about and spent a lot of time on.

And so, we developed some very strong and good relationships in trying to help solve this together. But we had legislators from east of the mountains who really didn't care what downtown Seattle did or why we should spend so much state money. So, trying to put together a package of financial relationships and improvements on what to do there in a way that the city would be proud of and wanted, and the vision for the waterfront could be implemented, was a very careful negotiation amongst a lot of people, including the governor and the legislature and the city council and the mayor.

DB: What made most sense to you as secretary at that point?

PH: Well, I think by the time I became secretary, we had a solution. So, that was somewhere in this transition time. We looked at those alternatives. There was a group that came together, and I can't remember what they called themselves, a group of advocates who were interested in more of a deep bore tunnel, whether it was the twin bore or a single – and they brought forth that there was a very similar deep bore tunnel having been built I think in Madrid, just completed or just underway that was a little bit smaller, but very similar to the size we would need for a single bore tunnel. So, in other words, it's doable, it's possible. And when you're digging just one deep bore tunnel, rather than two parallel ones, the price actually came out better and was achievable with the right kind of investment and was the least cost of the other alternative.

So, that became a possibility, and the governor got very involved at that point and the four corners of the legislature and the department. We would bring all the data and the analysis and we'd all sit and talk about it and say, "What about this? What about that?" The waterfront group, the downtown Seattle folks, the council, everybody was involved in trying to push for a solution that was going to work, and after their concern for the cut and cover tunnel, I think they were excited about the notion that this thing could be built underground in a way that would be less disruptive for the businesses and not impact their economic viability.

Tensions Between State and City

PH: Our role as the department was to be the technical experts to assess whether or not what's being asked could be built, what was the constructability? How could you phase it in a way that keeps the waterfront open? And, oh, by the way, how would you build it in phases so that you could make your investments work with the amount of money that's available? And how you in the end build something that works and is what people are conceiving of. So, we weren't the decision-makers - we had a lot of influence, of course, with the governor because I worked for her, but in the end, it was a political decision.

I remember the King County executive was there, the mayor, all the legislators from both houses. The Seattle legislators cared a lot, even if they weren't on transportation committees at the state level. City council. It was an all-in conversation - and then the waterfront folks, they were right there involved in the conversation. So, it was kind of fun to watch from a political and public decision-making standpoint, and thank God for Governor Gregoire because she would make a decision when she got right down to it.

DB: So, when you were talking about tensions between the state and the city, can you just elaborate a little bit on how would that play out?

PH: Well, it was hard for the state and city who both – I think we both had a different perspective of how this could work.

DB: Was that because of different objectives?

PH: Yeah, maybe different objectives of the waterfront, but naturally, the city would want the state to pay for as much of it as they could because that's what cities do when they want something, and I don't blame them, but we had a-

DB: But it's a state highway too so it is your ...

PH: It's a state highway. I think when you dig way back when it was actually the City of Seattle that built the viaduct somewhere along the line, it became a state highway.

Jennifer Ott: The highway department built it.

PH: Did they?

JO: Yeah.

PH: Okay. Okay. Stand corrected. Anyway, so we didn't agree on the cut-and-cover tunnel, I think was probably the biggest disagreement, and while we had tense technical meetings and we stopped short of name-calling, nobody did that, but we were really at odds with each other for a while on what the right solution was. And in the end, we realized that we weren't making the decision. It was all of our jobs to put the best, most accurate information before the decision-makers, and so we did that.

DB: Do you remember one of those meetings? I'm just kind of curious if you can take me into one of those meetings. You don't have to name names or anything, but I'm just very curious about how these technical discussions play out in interpersonal terms, right? Because you're in a room with other people.

PH: Yeah. And in some cases, it's how should we present this information to this transportation committee or the city council, and people's opinions might work their way into how the presentation or the conversation might flow, and there would be discussions about that. The city wanted, in the end – and I think they were consistent – that the waterfront be an asset to the city, the population of the city, all community members.

And so, how can we take the advantage of this broken viaduct and leave behind something that we're all proud of? So, how much of that should the state pay for? Once you tear down the viaduct, once you build your tunnel then tear down the viaduct, okay, then what's the state going to put back and what's your responsibility and what's ours? And (the) city didn't have a lot of money, let's be honest, and I mean, even for the waterfront, the fundraising that had to happen in order to make this a viable project that's being built still today was a huge lift. I think all of us are going to look back and say, and I do already think, "What a legacy for all of us." It was hard. It was ugly sometimes, but in the end, all of us can stand shoulder to shoulder and say, "We did this." And so, that's what happens when you're trying to make good long-term decisions, I think.

DB: And I'm curious about the ... and my understanding of this is clearly imperfect – but my understanding is that up until about the end of 2006, just before you became secretary that from the state's perspective the deep bore tunnel wasn't an option either technically or for whatever other reasons, maybe political reasons, I'm not sure. What's your understanding of what changed between then and into 2007 and late 2007?

PH: Yeah, that was about the timeframe because I remember sitting in Governor Gregoire's office where we were looking – at the encouragement of this group who came and said, "Look what they're doing in Madrid" – first of all, this is viable. So, we had to have our consultants and everybody go back and look: is this actually something that could work? And when we ran the numbers of the twin bore cost to deliver and the single bore, it was, "Oh, this is actually viable. Price-wise, this is within this financial frame that could make this a viable tunnel." So, we got pretty excited about that, and Governor Gregoire, if you know her style, is very detail-oriented and would ask probably better engineering questions than I did.

WSDOT, Cars and Trucks

PH: As stewards of the state transportation system, the Department of Transportation thinks long and hard about being able to move people and goods. Moving cars was more prevalent in those days. I mean, when you think about it, we had, I think it was 110,000 vehicles or somewhere in that range of vehicles using the viaduct every single day. Now, there was a mayoral candidate, who then later became mayor, and other folks who said, "Just tear it down, leave it down." And we adamantly opposed that because we already knew I-5 didn't work, right? And even though someday, as we have more integrated transportation and modal choice, we knew that perhaps we'd have less vehicles moving about the corridor, you're never going to get rid of 110,000 cars a day, unless you just shut it off and say, "Everybody go home." Like a pandemic. Everybody go home, and this isn't going to work.

And you're just not going to have this access. We didn't support that. We're stewards of people and goods, and it was just bad engineering in my standpoint, you can't just vaporize something. There's a lot of folks though now you listen around the country who are anti-freeway people who would love to just tear down the freeways, and I'm not sure they've really thought through those perspectives and what that would mean for our economy and people's livability and their ability to get from home to work, et cetera. So, I think it's more complex than just saying, "Shut it down, take it down, get rid of it." And so, I was against that.

DB: As someone who has responsibility for statewide transportation, how did you see the waterfront and the viaduct, and then whatever solution came as fitting into that jigsaw of all those other responsibilities you have?

PH: Well, when you think about the state's transportation system, something like 13,000 bridges and 6,000 centerline miles of roadway, and then you look at the viaduct, even though it's not a lot of mileage, you also have to consider that this was a damaged bridge infrastructure inside of the major city in the state, and it gives it a little more weight. Let's say more weight than just saying, "Well, we'll get to it when we get to it," because that was not going to be the answer. However, though, the point you make is statewide our agency is responsible for keeping all of those bridges open and accessible for commerce and residents, and so, there's a lot on our minds at the state level as we were thinking about the budgets we have. The legislature back starting in 2003 and in 2005, when they made those pretty big investments in transportation – $16 billion I think within those two years – they also then selected the projects at our recommendation, but they spent the money, bonded all of it, and spent it on specific projects.

So, we didn't have a lot of flexibility at the state level to just move money around in any direction. We had commitments on projects, and we had a legislature that very closely controlled how the transportation revenues flowed into preservation and maintenance, and expansions and modernizations of highways and infrastructure all around the state. And they, as I said before, we hadn't had a revenue increase since the early '90s, and it was 2003, and there were projects on the shelf, if you will, or pent-up demand for project investments that they picked and they put into the budget and said, "This is what you'll spend on these projects." So, we had no flexibility from that standpoint which is why it was critical to get them involved early in identifying how a state revenue investment or budget could support whatever we were going to do, and they had a lot of input and decision-making to do because they were going to have to either get new revenues or shift revenues  or do something in our budgets in order to make that happen.

First Steps Once a Decision is Made 

PH: There's a lot of work that has to happen from that day the decision was made to before you can actually start boring, and in fact, I think probably the next day, we all sat around the table at the DOT and said, "Okay, this is what we've been wanting was a decision. We know what we're going to do. The legislature still needs to take some action on making the revenue and the budget happen." 

So, they a to-do that they had to do some things. "But let's get started on the engineering – well, actually, the environmental work, the engineering, and the contract preparations in order to get a design build contractor to build." 

And as I mentioned before, we had phases. How do we phase and stage distinct contracts to build this thing so that we can do all this under traffic? Because it's great to go out to a green field and build a brand new facility, but we were doing everything we did under port traffic and stadium development and waterfront and through traffic, so it had to be very carefully orchestrated.

DB: So, you're talking about different contracts for, okay, who's going to undertake moving utilities. Is that right? Who's going to do this?

PH: That's a big part. Do we have the right of way? What are the utility issues? I think we started on the south end with a few contracts. How quickly can we get our first contract going? We had enough money to get started. We knew how much the program had which was the 3.1 billion, I will never forget that number, because that was our state money plus the up to 300 million from the port, and that was the goal. It's like: we've got to pull all this off and this amount of money. And the early contracts, I don't want to say they were easy, but they were the south end port access, and down in that SoDo area, knitting together where the viaduct ended down into the city streets. It was more traditional transportation project development that we were largely used to.

PH: What we weren't used to at WSDOT was this deep bore tunnel, and as we worked with our consultants to develop the alternatives of what the tunnel alignment would be, where the portals were, where you go in, where you come out – "Oh, by the way, what's up above us as we're boring this deep bore tunnel under major city buildings?" That was some real engineering excellence. 

It was fun to watch some of that action take place where there were underground models with the footings and foundations and the pilings for the major buildings in Seattle, where we were trying to thread the alignment of the tunnel through to come out in a place – as I recall, it was up near the Gates Foundation – where we had a lot of conversations with them. And as you're entering and landing a tunnel, what does that do to that local area, and what impacts does that make for each of those areas? So, there was huge conversations with the downtown Seattle folks and some of the business owners.

So, all that had to happen, and we had to start building contract documents that we would put out for bid for a design builder with the right kind of risk management considerations that the state could protect those things. 

When you're thinking about design build, the best way to do it is to assign risk issues like groundwater and subsurface materials to the group, state, or contractor that can control or manage that risk the best. So, we were responsible for what some of the subsurface conditions were to report to the contractor, and what we asked them to do, the design builder, was: here's the alignment that we think you should follow. Refine the alignment, and deliver a 54-foot diameter tunnel with these elements within. And the key to that was, we did not tell the contractor design builder how to bore the tunnel, what kind of machine to use, we just told them what we wanted as an outcome and a finished product.

And then when you fast forward to some of the legal issues that happened later on about Bertha and some of the issues with the machine not working, it really helped the state because we had very good documents, contracts, understand(ing) who was responsible for what issues and what risks. So, in the end, I think we had a really good tight contract with our design builder, and the issues that came up were appropriately sent to - the state paid for some things on some change orders of things that we should have known or told them about: it was some, I think, water issues on the south end early on, subsurface water – but other than that, some of the other problems that happened really were the responsibility of the design builder.

WSDOT Planning: How a Project Becomes a Project

PH: Typically, a department of transportation would look at where they have deficiencies in their system. In other words, a safety issue, a capacity issue, a bridge that needs to be repaired or replaced. And so, you identify the deficiency and you start looking at the opportunity for what a solution or concepts might be. Now, nowadays, an environmental document of some kind is required everywhere, whether it's an environmental impact statement or an environmental assessment. But as you're thinking about alternatives to solve a problem and you've done your public engagement, and you're now talking to all the right people that you need to talk to see where the solutions might fit their needs, you arrive at a solution, you test the environmental impacts, you mitigate or avoid your environmental impacts, and typically you would put that into a program. And as your revenues are available, many state DOTs are able to manage their revenues, funding, and their investments themselves.

In our state, since 2003, our legislature has put a very heavy emphasis on selecting and codifying what those projects would be with lists and tying it to the revenue package. So, there's not a lot of room for flex on the dime and reaction to something that might happen critically. You have to program those dollars and do your benefit cost on “Maybe we should do this project first because we'll get the bigger bang for the buck here and then do this other project after that.”

So, we put those kinds of proposals together for the legislature for their consideration. And typically on big infrastructure projects ever since the early 2000s, these programs of project suggestions are then looked at by the legislature at a time when they're thinking of raising revenue, because the declining purchasing price and the flat gas tax we have and the more and more electric vehicles we have in our state not buying gas, our source of revenue is declining, and it's not enough to sustain the entire state transportation system. So, the legislature has put infusions of new money and new revenue into the system over the years while they figure out and work on a national scene of, "How are we going to replace our user fee which is the gas tax long term?" But they would then assign, "OK, you can rebuild the I-5 SR16 interchange in Tacoma," for example, and we had suggested it so it is a pretty close collaboration, I would say, on picking those projects.

It's when something bad happens like an earthquake and it kind of upsets the apple cart, and the fix is so expensive from what the state is used to paying for things – think about the major investments we've had in Puget Sound: the 520 corridor project was huge, but it was long overdue, and another vulnerable facility, especially in wind and wave action, that floating bridge. I-90’s had work over the years, and now Sound Transit's building light rail there. 405 was not in any way keeping up with the antiquated corridor it had and the growth they've had in the Bellevue/Eastside, and then I-5 doesn't work. It still doesn't work. So, we've got this major infrastructure in Puget Sound that the viaduct got the most attention quickly, as it did 520 because it was also damaged in the earthquake – the approach bridges were – that they got the attention and they got the money, and the legislature had to make those decisions.

JO: And then once the legislature decided that, how was Governor Gregoire involved in choosing the final solution?

PH: I would say that the governor's role on both 520 and the viaduct were all happening at the same time, by the way. We were in the thick of things. When you think about 520, for example, the east side wanted extra lanes coming to the west. The west side did not. They did not want 520 expanded. They did not want more cars coming through their communities. In the end, there were legislative committees created, community committees that we would staff and show alternatives to, and debate and have options, and go back to the drawing board, and that went on in both areas; and community leaders, neighborhoods, legislators, it was an all-in effort. And it was in that timeframe of 2007 and '08 where we worked with the governor closely, and she's such a collaborator and understood everybody's concerns, but knew that we had to make decisions.

PH: And so, I would say sometimes a governor wouldn't be the right person to make those decisions, nor would they, but this governor did, and it was a very collaborative effort, and I think in the end, legislators stood up and supported that this was the right answer, and it was an all-in kind of a decision on both projects.

JO: So, she was a leader on the discussion, and yeah, and then the legislature still has to kind of assume [inaudible] that that will be funded.

PH: Yeah. But she, as a governor, was always very interested in all four corners, both house and senate leaders of the minority and the majority. So, we sat around that table many times with the two Rs and the two Ds and the governor and myself and maybe a few others having conversations about transportation, but she just wouldn't let things linger, and that was the beauty of having somebody who would make a decision.

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