News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced that Washington state will receive $15 million for a critical rail transportation project that will increase efficiency in and around the Port of Vancouver. The project includes construction of a grade-separated railroad crossing for the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor over the freight rail mainline serving the Port. The project is funded through a competitive grant process from the Department of Transportation and will eliminate delays caused by conflicts between passenger trains and freight trains accessing the Port. Amtrak has estimated that this project will improve on-time-performance by as much as 8 percent.

“I’m so glad that Washington state was awarded funding to help build the critical infrastructure that is needed for communities in Southwest Washington to compete in the 21st century economy,” said Senator Murray. “This project is especially important as the Port of Vancouver undergoes construction to expand and improve the efficiency of its freight operations. Eliminating the bottleneck caused by the current railroad crossing will ensure that the Port and passenger train services can both function efficiently and at full capacity.”

“This project is a major step forward in creating jobs and improving key transportation infrastructure in Southwest Washington to fuel economic growth,” said Senator Cantwell. “The Port of Vancouver’s freight access project is critical to eliminating points of congestion, expanding port access, and creating family-wage jobs. This investment will create construction jobs, and reduce delays for passengers and freight at a key intersection along the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor. These rail improvements will spur Southwest Washington job growth and economic development for years to come.”

Last year, Senator Murray announced that through a program she created, the Port of Vancouver would receive $10 million for shovel-ready construction projects to increase the capacity and efficiency of the port. The funding was part of the Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recover (TIGER II) program that Senator Murray create to invest in major transportation projects that create jobs and bolster regional economies.

Senator Cantwell is a long-time supporter of improved freight mobility to support economic growth, including at the Port of Vancouver. Cantwell, along with Senators Murray and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), introduced legislation in February that would establish America’s first comprehensive national freight transportation policy to support a growing trade economy. The FREIGHT (Focusing Resources, Economic Investment, and Guidance to Help Transportation) Act would ensure America’s global economic competitiveness by modernizing the nation’s freight transportation system to support the quick and cost-effective movement of goods.