(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included over $2.35 million for Olympia transportation projects in the Fiscal Year 2009 Senate Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill. As Chairman of the THUD Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murray uses her position to invest in community-backed projects in Washington state that may not otherwise receive federal support.
"As gas prices continue to skyrocket, it's important that we invest in providing alternatives for Olympia-area residents that are being squeezed at the pump," said Senator Murray. "The funding in this bill will increase access to area bus services and will build on the existing network of bike trails that provide another commute option."
The THUD Appropriations bill was approved in Senator Murray's THUD Committee on Tuesday and was approved by the full Appropriations Committee today. It now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
The following projects were included in the bill for the Olympia region:
Intercity Transit Intermodal Facility Project, Intercity Transit: $1,850,000
This funding will construct additional bus loading and customer support facilities at the downtown Olympia Transit Center to support local, regional and interstate bus services. By integrating public and commercial transit services, riders will gain easier, more convenient access to local, regional and interstate bus services, further encouraging individuals to leave their single-occupant vehicles at home and use public transportation, ultimately reducing traffic congestion, fuel consumption and air pollution.
"We are grateful to Senator Patty Murray for her assistance in obtaining this grant," according to Mike Harbour, General Manager for Intercity Transit. "This project will allow travelers and commuters of our region greater access to public transportation options; thus helping to reduce congestion, improving quality of life and providing great benefits to the environment."
Woodland Trail Project, City of Lacey: $500,000
The Woodland Trail project is a key link in the Thurston County urban trail network and an important element of the area's regional commute trip reduction strategy. This new trail intersects the Chehalis Western Trail and is a continuation of the Olympia Woodland Trail. These interconnecting trails serve thousands of residents by providing commute alternatives to employment and city centers and recreational opportunities for pedestrians and bicyclists.
"The City of Lacey is extremely grateful to Senator Murray for her ability to secure funds for the Woodland Trail Regional Development Project," said Lacey Mayor Graeme Sackrison. "The Project is a key link in the Thurston County urban trail network and an important element of the area's regional commute trip reduction strategy. Senator Murray’s assistance will help the City and its funding partners complete this important community asset and improve the quality of life for thousands in our community."