(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) announced that she has secured $140 million for transportation, housing and economic development priorities throughout the Puget Sound region. The funding has been included as part of the Transportation, Treasury, Judiciary Housing and Urban Development (TTHUD) Appropriations bill. Senator Murray is the highest ranking Democrat on the TTHUD Appropriations Subcommittee.
"The investments made in this bill give Puget Sound communities the fiscal tools to address their transportation, housing and quality of life concerns," said Senator Murray. "While the federal budget continues to be squeezed, I have continued to fight for investments to be made here at home. Today, I am proud to see that those efforts have paid off and will benefit programs and people here in the Puget Sound."
Among the many programs in the Puget Sound that will be funded in this bill are Seattle mass transit programs. Senator Murray has been a staunch supporter of efforts to expand Sound Transit service and has supported streetcar and ferry projects as well.
"After spending many years on the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, I have a deep understanding of the economic windfall that smart investments in transit infrastructure can bring." said Senator Murray. "In Seattle, a new vision for an interconnected system of mass transit is unfolding and I am happy that I have been able to support that vision with federal funding."
Now that the bill has passed the full Appropriations Committee it must be brought up for a vote on the Senate floor.
Funding for Puget Sound area programs includes:
Agriculture Freight Supply Chain Analysis -- $170,000
Funding secured by Senator Murray for this project will allow for research to be completed on the apple, potato, wheat, and grain freight supply chains. This study will focus on how to improve the freight system to better assist agricultural growers and farmers, processed food manufacturing, and food distribution centers that rely on freight service to reach markets.
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. Senator Murray secured $2.7 million for this project in previous years.
Boeing, Global Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance System -- $24 million
Boeing has been selected by the FAA to develop the next-generation air traffic control system. This satellite-based approach will make air traffic management safer, more secure and more efficient. This is the third year Murray has secured funding for a new Air Traffice Management (ATM) system. Murray has secured $70 million for this program in previous years. This funding means continued quality jobs for workers in Washington state.
Community Transit Bus Rapid Replacement Program -- $1 million
Community Transit is developing the Puget Sound region’s first Bus Rapid Transit (or BRT) system along the SR-99 corridor, which will connect Everett and the Snohomish-King County line in 2008. Once completed, the project will include dedicated lanes, frequent departures, distinctive transit stations, unique vehicles, and other technological features that will improve service and accessibility. This funding will help Community Transit purchase BRT vehicles.
Cross Base Highway -- $1 million
This project will construct a new six-mile highway from I-5 at Thorne Lane to SR-7 at 176th Street. The project will ease congestion on I-5, SR-512, and SR-7 by providing a more direct route through the Fort Lewis and McChord military facilities. The funding secured by Senator Murray will be used toward right of way acquisition. Senator Murray secured $4 million for the project in previous years.
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.
Everett Transit Bus and Paratransit Vehicle replacement -- $600,000
Everett Transit’s 41 buses and 18 paratransit vehicles carry approximately 2 million people per year. Many of these vehicles have reached the end of their service life and need replacement. The funding secured by Senator Murray will enable Everett Transit to replace some of these buses with new, ultra clean diesel, low floor ADA compliant coaches and purchase paratransit vans to serve ADA-eligible customers. Senator Murray secured $825,000 for the project last year.
King County Metro Bus Radio Replacement Program -- $750,000
King County Metro’s bus radio system has become obsolete due to new Federal Communication Commission regulations and advances in technology. The funding secured by Senator Murray will assist Metro in replacing bus radios with new, state-of-the-art communications devices. Senator Murray secured $2 million for the project last year.
Kitsap Transit, Rich Passage Wake Impact Study -- $2.2 million
The funding secured by Senator Murray will continue work already underway in Rich Passage to better understand the impact of wake energy on shoreline property and to develop technologies and vessel design features to minimize it so that expanded fast ferry service between Bremerton and Seattle may resume. Senator Murray provided $4.05 million for this project in previous years.
Mobile Object Technology (Topia Ventures in Tacoma) -- $3 million
The funding secured by Senator Murray will help further a pilot project that illustrates how Topia Mobile Object technology, Kolona, operates in complex network environments like the National Air Space System (NAS) and System Wide Information Management (SWIM). Kolona enables different aviation systems to interact effectively to avoid a system failure or any delay of the information available to pilots and air traffic controllers. Senator Murray has previously secured $7.75 million for this project.
Mukilteo Multimodal Terminal Redevelopment -- $675,000
The funding secured by Senator Murray will support Washington State Ferries redevelopment of this project, which will include a new passenger terminal building with overhead loading, pedestrian and bicycle holding areas and ADA accommodations; 2 ferry slips to allow expansion to a three boat schedule, expanded vehicle holding area for 260-300 vehicles, commuter rail pedestrian connections, bus platform for local/express bus and park and ride lot.
Pierce Transit Peninsula Park and Ride -- $1 million
This funding will support efforts by Pierce Transit to develop a new Park and Ride facility in Gig Harbor. The Peninsula Park and Ride is being designed to support the increased transit and vanpool ridership expected with the opening of the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Puget Sound Regional Council Passenger-Only Ferry Study -- $125,000
This funding will support efforts by the Puget Sound Regional Council to examine the current level of passenger-only ferry service and develop a long-range strategic plan for providing this service throughout the central Puget Sound.
Renton Sam Chastain Waterfront Trail -- $1.2 million
This project will assist the City of Renton in connecting Coulon Park to the Cedar River Trail and complete the missing link to the Lake Washington trail system. In addition, this project will help improve surrounding fish habitat and provide increased recreational access to Lake Washington. Funds secured by Senator Murray will help complete the permitting phase and help begin construction.
Seattle 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. Senator Murray secured $4 million in previous years.
Sound Transit, Link Light Rail -- $80 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.
Sound Transit, University Link -- $15 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.
Tacoma Lincoln Avenue Grade Separation Project -- $1.5 million
This project will eliminate Lincoln Avenue truck and rail congestion by raising Lincoln Avenue over key railroad tracks used for rail operations within the Port area. This corridor is critical to the operations of the Port of Tacoma, as it represents 1 of 2 entrances to the Port from I-5. Senator Murray secured $2.3 million for this project last year.
University Place Intermodal Transit Facility -- $750,000
The Intermodal Transit Facility is a key component of the City of University Place’s “Uptown Center”, a mixed-use development that will include retail, office, housing, and public space. The transit facility will allow the development to be transit friendly. Funding will go toward construction of a new parking garage. Senator Murray secured $3.25 million for this project last year.
WSDOT SR-520 Innovative Water Quality Protection -- $679,000
The funds secured by Senator Murray will help fund the design and construction of an innovative “Pier Wetland” demonstration project. This project will build treatment wetlands at the base of the bridge piers in order to help mitigate stormwater runoff, which currently is discharged directly from the SR-520 bridge deck directly into Lake Washington.
Asian Counseling and Referral Service Facility 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. With their caseload growing by more than 400%, the ACRS has launched a capital campaign to finance a new facility in Seattle’s Rainier Valley. The funding secured by Senator Murray will support this effort and enable the ACRS to provide greater access to these critical services. Senator Murray secured $500,000 for this project last year.
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.
Everett Senior Activity Center Expansion Project -- $500,000
The funding secured by Senator Murray will assist the city of Everett with their efforts to renovate and expand the Everett Senior Activity Center. The center provides medical, fitness, and other support services to seniors.
FareStart Facility Construction Costs -- $450,000
Located in Seattle, FareStart has provided life skills and job training services to homeless individuals since 1992. FareStart has outgrown its current facility and is moving to a new facility that will allow for expanded programming and services. The funding provided by Senator Murray will assist with the costs of renovating their new facility.
Highpoint Neighborhood Center Construction – $250,000
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.
Jim Wiley Community Center Construction -- $300,000
This project will allow for the complete redevelopment of the Jim Wiley Community Center at Greenbridge. The new center will support an expanded educational, recreational and economic self-sufficiency support services for residents of the new housing community and broader White Center area. The remodel and improved interior layout will enable Neighborhood House, the Southwest Boys and Girls Club, and Highline Community College to utilize the space and work more closely to provide more efficient community services and resources. This will complete the project. Senator Murray secured $300,000 for this project last year.
Nisei Veterans Memorial Hall Renovations -- $250,000
The funding provided will assist the Nisei Veterans Committee in renovating 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.
Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club Construction Project -- $400,000
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. The funding secured by Senator Murray will assist the Boys and Girls Club in building a new, expanded facility that will allow for expanded programming and services.
YMCA of Tacoma Pierce County for Facility Improvements -- $250,000
The YMCA of Tacoma-Pierce County serves more than 51,000 people throughout the region every year. The funding provided by Senator Murray will assist with the construction of a new YMCA facility in Gig Harbor north of Highway 16.
To see the complete list of Washington state programs funded in this bill visit: