OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Two transportation projects in Washington state are among four projects that President Barack Obama said will be expedited under his "We Can't Wait" initiative.

The Obama administration announced Monday that one of the projects on the list is the Columbia River Crossing, a $3.5 billion plan to replace the Interstate 5 bridge and rebuild the freeway between Portland and Vancouver. The project also looks to extend light rail to Vancouver and enhance pedestrian and bicycle paths. The target date for completing permit and review decisions is August 2015.

State officials have said that construction is likely to begin at the end of 2014, assuming Washington, Oregon and federal funding falls into place.

Gov. Chris Gregoire said the crossing already sees up to six hours of congestion a day, a number that could increase to 15 hours by 2030 if no action is taken.

Obama's announcement "recognizes the importance the crossing has to the region and will help us expedite the needed federal permits," Gregoire said in a written statement. "This project will provide thousands of construction jobs, as well as long-term growth in one of the most trade-dependent areas of the United States."

The other project is to provide faster train service on the southbound route from Seattle to Portland. The $89 million Point Defiance Bypass project will reroute passenger trains to another existing rail line to avoid conflict with rail freight traffic. The date for finalized permitting and review decisions would be by the end of this year.

The other two projects being expedited are in North Dakota and Maine.