(Washington, D.C) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included $131.7 million in funding for King County transportation, housing and community development projects in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill. Senator Murray is the Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee.
"This funding will go toward keeping King County's highways safe, continuing the growth of our transit system, providing more affordable low-income housing, building neighborhood centers and keeping our ferry system efficient," said Senator Murray. "Our transportation infrastructure is critical to keeping our economy growing and I am committed to providing funding that will reduce congestion, create jobs, and improve quality of life. I am also determined to steer investment to building affordable housing and neighborhood centers that will give low-income King County residents the resources they need to provide stability for themselves and their families."
Projects funded by Senator Murray in King County include:
Coal Creek Parkway Expansion, Newcastle -- $1 million
This project will widen Coal Creek Parkway from two to four travel lanes and will include sidewalks, bike lanes, curbs, gutters, and drainage facilities. This project will also include the replacing of the existing two-lane May Creek Bridge with a new, four-lane one. Coal Creek Parkway is the only north and south roadway alternative to I-405 between the cities of Bellevue and Renton, which makes it a vital regional corridor.
Newcastle Mayor Jean Garber praised Senator Murray for providing funding for the Coal Creek Parkway Expansion: "Newcastle is most appreciative of Senator Murray's efforts to secure funding for the Coal Creek Parkway project. The Senator recognizes the importance of completing this project prior to I-405 construction, and this funding moves us along toward that goal."
Sound Transit, University Link -- $30 million
University Link will extend light rail from downtown Seattle north to the University of Washington. This corridor is the most densely developed residential and employment area in the central Puget Sound region and state. University Link received the highest rating from the Federal Transit Administration in the “Annual New Starts Report for FY 2007.” This funding will support Sound Transit’s efforts to complete final design and continue with property acquisitions.
Sound Transit, Link Light Rail -- $70 million
Sound Transit is constructing an initial 14-mile light rail system from downtown Seattle to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Senator Murray has previously secured $310 million for this project.
Highpoint Neighborhood Center Construction -- $600,000
The Seattle Housing Authority is nearing completion of a redevelopment of the former public housing community at High Point, which has one of the highest concentrations of poverty in Seattle. The High Point Neighborhood Center will provide a variety of programs such as Head Start, employment training, youth tutoring, adult education, and other programs to assist low-income individuals and families. The funding secured by Senator Murray will be used to replace existing facilities with a new center.
El Centro de la Raza, Facility Improvements -- $300,000
Funding secured by Senator Murray will help El Centro de la Raza complete their capital campaign to update their century-old building. Specifically, funding will assist with the cost of replacing the facility’s roof, which is in dire need of replacement. El Centro de la Raza offers a range of services that include child care and development, after school programs, homeless assistance, first-time homeownership workshops and counseling, English-as-a-Second Language classes, and senior wellness and meal programs, among others.
Asian Counseling and Referral Service, New Building Construction -- $500,000
The Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) provides a variety of services for the Asian Pacific American community in the Seattle-area, including: mental health and substance abuse treatment, domestic violence intervention, job training, naturalization assistance, food bank and nutrition programs, elderly care, and a legal clinic. Serving 18,000 clients a year in more than 30 languages, the ACRS has been recognized as a national leader in providing services to low-income Asian Pacific Americans. The funding secured by Senator Murray will support this effort and enable the ACRS to provide greater access to these critical services.
Hiawatha Village Low Income Housing Development, Seattle -- $750,000
This funding will help complete the construction of Hiawatha Village, which is a unique and innovative structure that seeks to maintain affordability in a low-income Seattle neighborhood. The 102-unit condominium development will sell 52 of its units to low-income, first-time homebuyers, and some of the units will only be available for re-sale to other low-income families. This project will promote property investment and provide low- and moderate-income families with affordable and quality units. This funding will complete the project.
Vashon Island Passenger Ferry, King County -- $600,000
The Vashon Island Passenger Only Ferry is the only direct mode of transportation between Vashon Island and downtown Seattle. The ferry is crucial for the residents of Vashon Island, and allows the retailers and businesses located there to be economically successful. This funding will allow for increased accessibility between Vashon and Seattle, reduce commute times, and encourage commuters to use public transportation.
Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club -- $500,000
The Boys and Girls Clubs of King County needs to replace the current Rainier Vista facility, which is being demolished as part of the redevelopment of the former Rainier Vista public housing project. This funding will assist the Boys and Girls Club in building a new, expanded facility that will allow for expanded programming and services.
Daniel Johnson, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of King County discussed the importance of this funding:
"We are thrilled that Senator Murray has once again led the way for children and families in Seattle," said Johnson. "The anticipated $500,000 is a huge boost to our campaign to build a state of the art Boys & Girls Club and teen center in the heart of Rainier Vista, one of the highest need communities in the state. The Club will serve as a beacon of hope for thousands of youth who need us most."
Nisei Veterans Memorial Hall Renovations -- $250,000
The funding provided will complete the Nisei Veterans Committee renovation project at its Memorial Hall in Seattle. It will allow for expanded educational activities about the internment and military service of Japanese Americans during WWII. In addition, it will enable the Nisei Veterans Committee to restart its low-income seniors’ lunch program.
Passage Point Transitional Housing Construction, King County -- $500,000
This project is a partnership between King County and the YWCA, which is redeveloping the Passage Point property into a 70-unit transitional housing project. The housing will be aimed at stabilizing families where a parent is coming out of prison and seeking to re-unite with their children, with the goals of reducing homelessness and recidivism. The campus-like setting will also provide treatment and counseling, and will serve to foster healthy parent-child relationships. This funding will complete the construction and the project.
South Lake Union Streetcar Project Capital Improvements -- $1.15 million
This project will help complete the City of Seattle’s South Lake Union revitalization plan by building a streetcar line connecting Westlake Center to the South Lake Union neighborhood. The Streetcar will increase access to the new waterfront park, is vital for attracting job development, and will help to improve and upgrade the Mercer Street corridor and essential utilities.
Auburn A-B Street NW Corridor Connector -- $1.8 million
This project will link three grade separated arterials between Auburn Station and S. 277th Street. The project is part of a comprehensive downtown revitalization plan for Auburn’s downtown core. The funding secured by Senator Murray will complete the final phase of the project and fund construction from 10th Street to 14th Street.
Des Moines Creek Trail Access Project -- $500,000
This funding will support efforts by the City of Des Moines to increase public access between the Des Moines Beach Park National Historic District, Des Moines Marina, and Des Moines Business District. This connection will support expanded recreational, cultural and historic tourism activities. The Des Moines Creek Trail is part of the larger Puget Sound regional trail system.
Advanced Materials in Transport Aircraft Structures – $1 million
This mark doubles the annual funding the center has been operating on for the last three years. The AMTAS center at the University of Washington is an FAA Center of Excellence where extensive research and testing and training is conducted on composite materials. This program has contributed significantly to the 787 effort.
Spiroid Winglet Fuel Efficiency Research -- $3 million
The funding will go toward the spiroid research project that would explore next generation winglet designs and technologies to enhance wing lift and stability and generate increased aircraft fuel efficiency. Given the current impact of fuel prices on airline cost drivers and concerns about aircraft engine emissions, any improvement in aircraft fuel efficiency through next generation winglet technologies translates into decreased pollution, increased aircraft efficiency and performance, and reduced airline fuel costs.
Pacific Highway South Bus Rapid Transit-- $14.25 million
This funding would go toward the Pacific Highway South RapidRide project which runs from Sound Transit's Light Rail Station at 154th Street (north of SeaTac Airport) to the Federal Way Transit Center (near SeaTac Mall), a distance of 10.35 miles. The funding will increase efficient bus service to a rapidly growing area of King County.
Washington State Ferries -- $5 million
This funding will go toward Washington state ferries and is from the federal Ferry Boats and Ferry Terminal Facilities Program.
The THUD Appropriations bill passed the full Appropriations Committee today and will now move to the full Senate for consideration.