News Releases

Tacoma: Murray Adds $10.6 Million for Transportation, Housing, and Community Development Priorities in Pierce County

Jul 12 2007

$1.5 million for Port of Tacoma Lincoln Avenue Grade Separation project included in funding provided by Murray-Chaired Committee

(Washington, D.C) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included $10.6 million in funding for transportation and community development projects in Pierce County in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill. Senator Murray is the Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee. 

Among the Tacoma projects funded in the bill is the Tacoma Lincoln Avenue Separation project. Senator Murray included $1.5 million for the project which 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. Currently, lengthy delays are being experienced at the corridor by both trucks and trains. These delays have become a major source of concern for the Port’s customers.

"The Port of Tacoma is the economic engine of the region and I am committed to ensuring it has the federal support it needs," said Senator Murray. "This funding will go toward relieving congestion at a vital access point to the port for both trucks and trains. It will help eliminate a major roadblock to the port's future growth."

“We appreciate the hard work of Senator Murray to help make funding for the Lincoln Avenue Overpass a reality,” said Port of Tacoma Commission President Dick Marzano. “This high-priority grade separation near the Port of Tacoma will significantly improve the efficiency and capacity of the rail system in the Port area. At the same time, it will improve the efficiency of surface street traffic, reducing truck idling and significantly improving air quality.”

The THUD bill passed the full Appropriations Committee today and will now move to the full Senate for consideration. 

Other important projects funded by Senator Murray in Pierce County include:

Tacoma Rail Mountain Division Track Upgrades -- $1.1 million

This project is necessary to meet an expanding freight business need which exists on the 131-mile Mountain Division Rail Line.  The funding will be used for both track upgrades and signal improvements.  Tacoma Rail not only serves a variety of commercial businesses, but also serves as a back up to Fort Lewis Army Base and McChord Air Force Base.

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.  

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.

Pierce Transit Peninsula Park and Ride -- $1.5 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.

University Place Intermodal Transit Facility -- $750,000

This funding will go toward building a new regional transit facility that will relieve congestion, improve freight mobility, and enhance interconnectivity between University Place, Lakewood, downtown Tacoma, Tacoma Community College, and a future light rail station. 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.

Salishan HOPE VI Redevelopment Project -- $1.5 million

This funding will go toward Salishan HOPE VI project - the Tacoma Housing Authority's largest public housing development. The development is currently undergoing a large scale revitalization.  Senator Murray has helped to provide significant funding for this project in previous years.