News Releases

King County Community Priorities, Transportation Projects Included in Final Spending Bill

Dec 09 2009

Funding will create jobs, support regional priorities like Sound Transit and community centers in Auburn, Kent

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that the funding she secured to support transportation and community development efforts across King County has been included in the final version of the Fiscal Year 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act. The final version of the spending bill came out of a conference committee between the Senate and the House and is expected to pass both bodies shortly before being sent to the President for his signature.

As Chair of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murray has fought to secure federal support for local Washington state projects that create jobs and invest in long-term growth.  The funding will help expand the recently-opened light rail line, provide support for low- and middle-income communities and improve transportation options across the region. 

Sound Transit, University Link LRT Extension and Central Link Initial Segment, Seattle: $110,000,000 and $3,144,294
This funding will support the completion of the Sound Transit Central Link and continued construction of the University Link light rail extension from downtown Seattle to the University of Washington

“The newly opened Central Link is already a strong asset to our commuters and our communities, and this funding will ensure that the region’s light-rail can continue to expand,” said Senator Patty Murray. “Investing in light-rail for King County creates jobs immediately, and it lays down a strong foundation for long-term economic growth in the region.”

These projects will create the first-ever rail transit between downtown and the University of Washington, providing a highly safe and reliable new form of transportation for the University community and help complete the critical light rail transit link from downtown Seattle to Tukwila

South King County Community Center Project, Auburn and Kent: $974,000
This funding would provide for the renovation and expansion of three youth community centers located in three public housing sites in the cities of Kent and Auburn, WA.

“These funds will help Auburn and Kent continue to invest in their children, and continue to invest in their communities,” said Senator Patty Murray. “Investing in our community centers helps ensure that children and adults who need it most get the support they need right in the communities they live in.”

Approximately 380 youth and over 800 residents occupy these public housing communities, which would benefit from expanded services such as after-school classes and recreation, childcare, GED classes, access to computer technology and job training.

“Children of all economic strata deserve a safe place to get help with their homework, learn new skills and just be kids.  Community centers offer an especially important reprieve from stress at home for children whose families have limited financial means,” said Mike Heinisch, Executive Director of Kent Youth and Family Services.

“We are reaching the kids who need us most.  Our members are from families who are among the most impoverished in the region with a high concentration of minority, immigrant and refugee families," said Daniel Johnson, President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of King

The following additional projects were included in the bill for the King County region:

Bellevue to Redmond Bus Rapid Transit, Bellevue: $9,368,193
This funding will go to complete the construction of a 9.25-mile Bus Rapid Transit corridor that will run streetside between downtown Bellevue and downtown Redmond.

This project will provide an all-day, rapid transit connection between the quickly expanding urban centers of Bellevue and Redmond.  This line will expand transit capacity in the corridor to over 1 million riders in its first year, reducing congestion, decreasing commute times and increasing safety for transit users. 

Capitol Hill East Precinct Housing Development Project, Seattle: $706,150
This funding will provide for the construction of the Capital Hill East Precinct Development, a mixed-use development serving low-income renters, the Seattle Police Department and local arts and cultural organizations in the Capital Hill neighborhood in Seattle, WA.

This project will build 63 affordable apartments available to residents making less than 60% of the area median income, including nine units set aside specifically for people transitioning out of homelessness.  It will help to keep working low-income individuals and families near public transit and employment opportunities.

“The Capitol Hill East Precinct Project is an innovative project which brings together affordable housing, public safety, arts and culture uses under one roof,” said Chris Persons, Capitol Hill Housing Executive Director.  “A widely supported urban infill building, this is a new model for disparate parties collaborating successfully.  Capitol Hill Housing is proud to develop this project with federal support.”

Technology Access Foundation Community Learning Space, Seattle: $487,000
This funding will provide for the construction of the Technology Access Foundation Community Learning Space facility in White Center.

This project will create a facility for school-age youth that will include office space, an academic support center, four technology labs and a large multipurpose room to provide educational opportunities and technology skills at no cost to low income minority students in the White Center community.

“Since 1996, we have committed to developing, delivering and improving education, college entrance, and job opportunities for K-12 children of color.  The CLS will be at the center of our continual efforts to reach thousands more children through public education partnerships, teacher training, and after school enrichment and support programs,” said Trish Millines Dziko, Executive Director of Technology Access Foundation.

Lighthouse for the Blind – Safety Enhancement Program, Seattle: $535,700
This funding will help to enhance and maximize the abilities of blind, low vision, and Deaf-Blind individuals to access and effectively use public transit options in King, Pierce, and Spokane counties in Washington State.

Transportation access remains one of the most significant barriers to employment in the blind and Deaf-Blind community.  This project provides for an intensive, three-year program working both with members of the blind and Deaf-Blind community and public transit employees to enable program recipients to utilize public transportation safely and enhance their employment opportunities.  It will benefit as many as 375 blind and Deaf-Blind people and employees in the greater Seattle area.

“If a blind person is not able to travel safely to and from work they cannot even begin to address the extremely challenging issues they face in finding employment,” said Kirk Adams, President and CEO of Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.

Woodbridge Park Community Center Project, Seattle: $438,300
This funding provides for the planning, design and construction of a new building to serve as a community center in the Woodbridge Park Apartments in Seattle.

The construction of this new community center would expand current services to low-to-moderate income residents in this King County Housing Authority community, increasing educational and recreational opportunities for the more than 70 youth who reside there.  It will also give parents and adults access to basic education, employment training, language skills and parenting support, helping to promote self-sufficiency and economic well-being in the community.

“Children need a positive place to go for help with homework and other after-school activities.  And families need support for those children to succeed.  There is a great demand for our services at the Woodbridge apartment; kids are literally spilling out the door,” said Karma Kriezenbeck, Executive Director of New Futures.

Advanced Materials in Transport Aircraft Structures, University of Washington: $487,000
This funding will support and improve ongoing composite and advanced material research at the AMTAS center at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.

The work of AMTAS provides leading research and cutting-edge materials for the aerospace industry, advancing American aerospace design and construction worldwide.

Seattle Pacific Highway South Bus Rapid Transit, Seattle: $6,815
This funding will help establish bus rapid transit services extending from the City of Tukwila to the City of Federal Way, south of Seattle.

This line will expand transit capacity in the corridor, reduce congestion, decrease commute times and increase safety for transit users along this heavily used transportation corridor.

West Seattle RapidRide and Hybrid Bus Program, Seattle: $600,000
This funding will assist in the purchase of 15 hybrid bus rapid transit coaches for the West Seattle RapidRide service.

These new buses will help provide efficient, reliable and energy efficient transit service between 14 regionally designated growth centers in King County.

S.E. King County Commuter Rail and Transit Centers Feasibility Study, Maple Valley, Covington and Black Diamond: $360,000
This funding would provide for a feasibility study to implement passenger rail service along existing BNSF rail lines from the Auburn Sounder Commuter Rail Station to the communities of Maple Valley, Covington and Black Diamond.

With extensive population growth in south and east King County, transit alternatives are needed to provide more rural commuters access to main transit and light rail centers near major employment centers in the western half of King County.

Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue, Bellevue: $150,000
This funding would provide for the redesign, renovation and expansion of three community-based service centers to augment youth and adult programs for low-income public housing residents in Bellevue, WA.

This project will benefit approximately 700 very low-income residents in three public housing sites with employment training, job placement and access to computer technology while approximately 200 youth, ages 7-17, will have increased access to homework help, social skills training and recreational activities.