Washington (AP) For the past five years, contractors for Washington’s $4.8 billion state highway construction project have been picking up the tab for the work.
But it’s a change that some say could have unintended consequences.
The state’s transportation secretary said in a statement Wednesday that the contractors are required to be contractors and must do all the work by their own rules, and that “this change has been a longstanding requirement for our work and will continue to be.”
“We are looking to all parties to work collaboratively on this,” MaryEllen Koster said.
Koster’s statement did not address how many contractors are currently contracted and how many are expected to join the group.
The change is expected to save the state more than $10 million per year, officials said.
The Washington Department of Transportation said the new rule applies to all contractor groups and contractors must provide a current, complete contract with state authorities.
The agency said it is “committed to ensuring that every contractor that performs any work required by the department has an independent contractor license and has a contractor compliance plan that is fully in place.”