News Releases

Murray Protects Puget Sound Transportation Priorities in Senate Omnibus Spending Bill

Jan 24 2003

Also secures funding for community investments in YWCA, Mason county PUD

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - In the face of $10 billion in cuts to the eleven appropriations bills passed by the Senate last year, Senator Patty Murray has successfully protected funding for Washington state's key transportation priorities in the Omnibus Appropriations bill. The full Senate passed the Omnibus bill 69-29.

Working with her Republican counterpart on the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Murray retained the funding levels for Washington state projects that she had previously secured in the Senate's fiscal year (FY) 2003 Transportation spending bill.

"Working in a bipartisan fashion, and facing cuts across the board, I am pleased to have maintained federal funding for Washington state's urgent transportation needs," Senator Murray said. "This federal support will help ease congestion and improve safety by investing in critical transportation infrastructure across Washington state."

In addition to the earmarked funding, Washington state will also receive hundreds of millions of dollars in federal highway and transit formula funding. Washington state will receive $503.6 million in Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grants and $101 million in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants to address transportation issues throughout the state.

"Our national and regional economy is hurting, but cutting funding for key transportation projects would only do more damage. We must do all that we can to keep jobs and businesses in Washington state," Murray continued.


FAST Corridor Project
($10 million) The FAST Corridor project is a series of grade-crossing and port-access projects in the corridor between Tacoma and Everett intended to enhance passenger and freight mobility in the Puget Sound region. Senator Murray has secured over $120 million for this project to date, including $20 million in the last year.

Sounder Commuter Rail ($30 million) These funds may be used to pay for right-of-way, equipment and construction to expand Sounder Commuter Rail services between Seattle, Everett, Tacoma and Lakewood. Senator Murray secured $20 million for this project last year.

Operation Safe Commerce $30m nationally (approximately $10 m for Seattle-Tacoma) "Operation Safe Commerce," is a pilot program that will provide funding to America's three largest container ports to address the security vulnerabilities posed by more than 6 million intermodal containers that enter U.S. ports each year. The three ports take in half of all container cargo entering the U.S. The Ports of Seattle and Tacoma comprise the third busiest container port in the country, after Los Angeles-Long Beach and New York-New Jersey.

Edmonds Crossing Multimodal Project ($4 million) The funding will provide for the design and property acquisition phase of the Edmonds crossing Multimodal Project. This will be a new facility for transit connections in Edmonds.

Airport Security Demonstration at SeaTac ($4.7 million) This funding will help develop a pilot project at SeaTac to create a security solution that integrates the capabilities of mobile software to monitor and interpret air traffic operations and irregular flight conditions. The company that will commission this project is Topia, a Washington state company.

SR99/Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seattle Seawall Replacement ($2.5 million) The project will commence preliminary engineering and design work on how to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seattle Seawall.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Air Traffic Control Tower ($550,000) Help with the replacement tower construction and development

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, TRACON ($4.8 million) Assist in the air traffic control improvements at SeaTac.

Paine Field (Everett) ($925,000) Make various improvements to the air traffic control system.

Seattle Everett Rail Corridor Study ($750,000) Funding to conduct a study of track capacity and utilization by freight, commuter and intercity rail services in the Seattle-Everett Rail Corridor and the environmental challenges that would accompany expansion of that track capacity.

Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor Rail Safety Improvement Projects (Amtrak Cascades)($1.5 million) This project will improve the high-speed rail linking Eugene, Oregon, Portland, Seattle, Washington, and British Columbia. It is part of an incremental program that envisions 13 daily round trips between Seattle and Portland, operating at speeds up to 110 mph. To accomplish this goal, a series of grade crossing improvements all along the corridor are needed. In addition, these improvements the project will help improve commuter and freight traffic from Seattle to Everett.

Rebuild ISC Seattle Pier 36 - Phase I ($16 million) The Coast Guard is in the process of repairing and rebuilding the Coast Guard's Integrated Support Center at Pier 36 in Seattle. The facilities are outdated and need to be rebuilt and repairs need to be made due to damage from the Nisqually Earthquake in February 2001.

Aurora Ave. North Bus Rapid Transit ($2 million) This money will fund an integrated package of capital projects on the Aurora North Corridor to improve speed and reliability of transit and better transit access. Elements include sidewalk repair and construction; safety improvements like lighting and pedestrian signals; and new bus shelters that include technology allowing transit users to track the status of their bus.

Community Transit Park and Ride ($3.5 million) The project provides support for the development of additional park and ride capacity on both the I-5 and I-405 corridors in Snohomish County.

Burien Transit Center/Transit Oriented Development ($2 million) The City of Burien, in conjunction with King County Metro, is in the process of redeveloping the downtown urban center and plans to construct a Transit Oriented Development at this site which will incorporate a new off-street bus Transit Center, multi-use housing, and office and retail uses. Funds for this project will permit development of the structured parking facility, which will, in turn, facilitate the overall redevelopment effort.

Pierce Transit Bus Initiative ($3 million) The funding will support the replacement of 19 high-mileage diesel buses with compressed natural gas vehicles.

City of Kent Intracity Transit Project ($1.5 million) The project will assist the City of Kent Commute Trip Reduction Program, which provides connector service between Kent's Sounder Commuter Rail Station and Kent's Industrial Valley.

Everett Development 41st Street Interchange ($1 million) Funding will support redesign and renovations of the 41st Street/I-5 Interchange to ease traffic congestion.

Interurban Trail Construction ($400,000) This project will construct a 3-mile non-motorized trail "arterial" through Shoreline connecting to the Interurban trail system in Seattle and Snohomish Counties. The trail will serve transportation and recreational uses and create a linear park the length of Shoreline.

City of Lynnwood Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) ($2 million) The project will install a multi-component ITS to improve infrastructure. Improvements will include transit signals and technical renovations to the operations center.

Program of Projects, Washington ($5.5 million) This money will go to the state of Washington to accelerate the integration and interoperability of ITS across the system, jurisdiction and modal boundaries, in metropolitan and rural areas, to improve transportation efficiency, promote safety, increase traffic flow, reduce emissions of air pollutants, improve traveler information, and enhance alternative modes. The money will go to several projects across the state.

Regional Express Transit Hubs (Mercer Island, Federal Way, Kirkland, Lynnwood and Lakewood) ($5 million) This project will support increased park and ride capacity lot, new transit centers and HOV direct access ramps to facilitate efficient access for buses and carpools.

Vehicular Flywheel System ($1.5 million) This funding will help the Vehicular Flywheel Project comply with safety requirements, satisfy heavy-duty vehicle power management requirements, meet federal standardized weight and size requirements and provide engineering support for the flywheel power system during vehicle testing as required by design specifications.

SR 164 Improvements, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe ($420,000) The funds will help create left turn lanes, bus turnouts and flashing beacons for pedestrians on the road which links Auburn and Enumclaw and serves the Muckleshoot Reservation.

Thea Foss Waterway Environmental Protection and Transportation Impact Project ($500,000) The funds will support a study by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources will conduct a study of the effects to public health, safety, the environment and the economy associated with the discharge of storm-water from the two interstate highways and connected transportation routes to the Thea Foss Waterway in Tacoma.

I-405 Corridor Improvements - Tukwila to Lynnwood ($2.5 million) The project will start the preliminary engineering, detailed environmental review and the permitting process for I-405 improvements and expansion.

WorkFirst Transportation Initiative ($3.5 million) The project will provide transportation to low-income job seekers and workers in a number of ways including, new transit routes, extended hours of transit services (nights and weekends), van-pooling, ride-sharing, transporting people from outlying areas to transit hubs, and employer-provided transportation.

Interactive Highway Safety Design Model (Battelle) ($1.5 million) Funds to conduct research into heavy vehicle safety, and vulnerability assessments regarding security and safety in all modes of transportation.

Washington State Ferries ($2.5 million) This is the yearly entitlement funding under TEA-21 for the Washington State Ferries. Washington is one of only three states to receive such funding.

Washington State Ferries, Rich Passage Passenger Ferry Project ($1 million) This project will analyze the most feasible approach to high-speed water transportation between the cities of Bremerton and Seattle in Washington state.

Washington State Ferries Wireless Connection Project ($1 million) This funding will develop system-wide wireless connectivity for crew and passengers on Washington State Ferries. The company that would do the work is Mobilisa, Inc., a Port Townsend, WA company.

Oil Spill Prevention, 13th District ($1.6 million) This project will provide funding for the Captain of the Port in the Puget Sound to improve oil spill mitigation and prevention.

Maritime Electro-Optical Infrared (EO/IR), Handheld and Fixed Sensors (FLIR) ($5 million) These sensors are on cutters, patrol boats, as well as for Marine Safety Offices and Marine Safety and Security Teams. These sensors assist in both the maritime safety and security mission goals by enabling the Coast Guard personnel to conduct maritime operations safely and effectively at night in adverse weather conditions.


Sen. Murray also secured funding for a number of community investments.

Seattle Police Department - Digital video cameras ($2 million) This funding will support the Seattle Police Department's efforts to equip police cars with digital video surveillance cameras. Video cameras in police vehicles serve to bolster prosecution of criminal violations and traffic infractions, improve officer safety and provide an objective record of police and citizen interaction.

Mason County PUD Waste Water System ($690,000) This grant will allow Mason County Public Utility District to solve severe water pollution problems that have contaminated Finch Creek, periodically closed the state's Hoodsport fish hatchery, and led to bans on swimming and shellfish harvesting on nearby Hood Canal beaches. The requested funds will allow the PUD to decommission 40 failing septic tanks that drain into and contaminate Finch Creek and Hood Canal and to replace them with a wastewater collection system.

YWCA Opportunity Place, Seattle ($450,000) The YWCA will use the funding to help build the YWCA Opportunity Place. When Opportunity Place is completed it will provide critical services to 3,000 chronically homeless women and employment services to 1,300 adults, helping them to move from welfare to work. Opportunity Place will include 145 studio and one-bedroom apartments for very low-income and homeless persons. The facility will employ approximately 40 very low-income people in the delivery of services to clients and an additional 30 people in retail activity as part of the project.

Friends of Youth's Griffin Home, Renton ($225,000) Friends of Youth will use the funding to help renovate two aging homes, modernize on-site school classrooms, and add two professionally-staffed foster care homes to the Griffin Home site. Griffin Home is one of the few remaining residential treatment programs in the state for troubled and homeless boys aged 12-18.

Building Better Futures Community Centers Campaign, Kent ($225,000) Funding will help the Building Better Futures campaign meet its goal of building two new community centers in Kent. The centers will provide Head Start, primary health care, after-school recreation and homework support, job training, and placement services to immigrant or refugee and other low-income families. The community centers will directly serve three low-income housing complexes with more than 2,000 residents whose average income is 18 percent of adjusted median income.

Northwest Center for Livable Communities, University of Washington ($225,000) The Center will use the funding to create a new resource for Washington state communities as they manage a variety of challenges, including economic and community development, creating affordable housing, preventing sprawl, and enhancing the use of technology.

Squaxin Island Museum, Library and Research Center, Shelton ($180,000) The Tribe will use the funding to purchase display cases and install an interactive learning section in its newly-completed museum. The new museum will be an outstanding economic and cultural resource for the Tribe.

Elks Club of Pierce and Thurston Counties, Toys for Disabled Youth Initiative ($90,000) The Elks Club will work with four groups - low- and moderate-income families, pediatric occupational therapists, toy retailers and toy manufacturers - to produce toys that will help disabled children learn and develop skills and imagination. If successful, this one-year pilot program will be extended to a larger geographic area.

Maury Island ($1.8 million) This money will be used to purchase 300 acres of rural, coastal land on Maury Island, which is currently threatened by gravel extraction activities. The total cost to purchase the land is $20 million. King County and the State of Washington have already raised $7 million and are seeking additional grant funding.

Kitsap County / Hood Canal ($300,000) These funds will allow Kitsap County to purchase 20 acres of waterfront along Hood Canal. Laughlin Cove is ideal for a waterfront park and a future campsite. The forested site includes 1,200 feet of beachfront and has stunning views of the Olympics. This appropriation complements the $500,000 included in last year's final CJS bill for Kitsap County.


Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal Preservation ($2 million) This project will replace old, environmentally harmful, creosote treated timber pile dolphins and wing-walls with concrete and steel technology. The new steel pipe pile technology has proven to be far more durable and has documented history of reducing terminal slip casualties in the event of a hard landing.

Small Bus Systems Grant - Island Transit ($288,000) This funding will help replace 18 Island Transit vanpool vans.

Mount Vernon Multi-Modal Facility ($1.16 million) This project will upgrade the current multi-modal facility to alleviate congestion.

Cattle Point Road ($350,000) Unrelenting erosion threatens the portion of Cattle Point road that rests on an unstable bluff of sand and gravel and it is estimated that in 5-10 years the sea will claim the cliff on which the road now runs. The former owner deeded this road to the county, before the surrounding land was acquired by San Juan County National Historical Park. Currently San Juan County is working on an Environmental Impact Statement. This project will assist the county in their efforts.