News Releases

PENINSULA: Senator Murray Secures Support for Job-Creating Projects for the Peninsula Region

Jul 21 2010

As Chair of Key Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murray Wins Support for Peninsula Economic Priorities

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee announced that she has included funding to boost Peninsula transportation and economic development in the Fiscal Year 2011 THUD Appropriations bill.  The funding will create construction jobs that support community projects, make critical road safety improvements, and improve access to local transit. 

The key spending bill passed through the THUD Appropriations Subcommittee today, and will now move to the full Appropriations Committee for consideration.

“Especially now, it is critical to steer funding into transportation projects that create jobs and boost local economies in our own backyard on the Peninsula,” said Senator Murray. “This funding will go to support community projects like a ferry in Port Townsend and the construction of a new YMCA center in Silverdale, and I’m committed to continue securing investments for these and other local needs.”

The following projects were included in the bill for the Peninsula:

Port of Grays Harbor Rail Infrastructure - $2,000,000

The Port of Grays Harbor will receive funding to support the construction of auto terminal rail tracks to handle growing auto export cargoes. 

Grays Harbor’s strategic position on Washington’s Pacific Coast has led to more than $130 million in private investment and an increase in trade. Increasing the rail handling capacity will generate additional export and import trade volumes projected to reach $1 billion in value by 2015.

“Investing in rail capacity on Washington State’s Pacific Coast is the key to providing American shippers and producers with a direct route to our Pacific trading partners,” expressed Port of Grays Harbor Commission President Jack Thompson. “This project directly creates strong, marine related jobs in our community while improving our Nation’s position in the global marketplace.”

Clallam Transit Maintenance Facility Improvements - $200,000

Clallam Transit will receive funding to support the purchase of a replacement bus wash unit and water reclamation and recycling system.

This project will increase productivity, reduce vehicle downtime, eliminate a current health hazard, cut water use by over 50 percent, and eliminate any chance of groundwater contamination.

“Replacing our 15-year-old bus washing unit and non-functional water recycling and reclamation system will ensure less system downtime, remove an employee health hazard, and reduce the unit’s water consumption by over 50 percent,” said Terry G. Weed, General Manager.

 Elwha Valley Road Improvements - $1,300,000

The Lower Elwha Tribe will receive funding that will support improvements on Elwha Valley Road.  

Elwha Valley Road Project will provide a needed evacuation route from the Lower Elwha Valley in the event of catastrophic levee failure or tsuanami, increase mobility by allowing bus and truck traffic to meet and continue travel; reduce ambulance and fire response time to the Valley and provide pedestrian and bicycle access to the Olympic Discovery Trail.

“The Elwha Valley Road Project is critical to the health and safety of our community. We have needed this project for many years. After the road is finished our people will have an all-weather escape route in the event of levee failure or tsunami,” said Frances G. Charles, Chairwoman, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.

Jefferson Transit Vehicle Replacements - $400,000

Jefferson Transit will receive funding to support the replacement of vehicles that have exceeded their useful service life including one heavy-duty bus and one medium-duty cutaway vehicle.

“Jefferson Transit provides safe and reliable public transportation services to our residents and visitors and we appreciate this funding. It will enable us to purchase new vehicles, enabling us to continue to support the rural mobility needs of our community,” said Catharine Robinson, Jefferson Authority Board Chair.

Kitsap Transit Vehicle Replacements - $500,000

Kitsap Transit will receive funding to help support the replacement and expansion of Kitsap Transit’s aged Worker/Driver fleet to raise these vehicles to 2010 emissions standards.

This project revitalizes Kitsap Transit’s best program with a newer, higher quality and expanded fleet. With the Navy’s cooperation it will reduce congestion caused by shipyard workers rush hour commuting and improve the overall quality of life for shipyard employees.

 “The Worker-Driver Program is Kitsap Transit’s crown jewel. These buses will substantially increase ridership, reduce the program’s impact on the environment and make it sustainable,” said Kitsap County Commissioner and Kitsap Transit’s Board Chair Josh Brown.

Port Townsend Passenger Only Ferry - $1,000,000

The Port of Port Townsend will receive funding for the acquisition of a vessel to establish high-speed passenger-only ferry service between Port Townsend and downtown Seattle.

The proposed high-speed passenger ferry link between Port Townsend and downtown Seattle will promote and offer commuters, visitors, and residents a number of new modes of travel that reduce costs and environmental impacts associated with vehicle travel, enhance the regional mobility of Puget Sound as well as the economic benefits to several cities and counties.

“Establishing this passenger only ferry service is an important step towards ensuring the long-term vibrancy and health of Jefferson County and the region.  Not only will this service support sustainable economic growth and the well being of our citizens, it does so in a way that is environmentally sensitive, consistent with our historic character, and enjoys the support of a broad cross-section of our community,” said Larry Crockett, Executive Director.

YMCA Central Kitsap Community Center - $1,000,000

The YMCA of Central Kitsap will receive funding that will provide for the construction of a new YMCA community recreation facility in Silverdale, WA.

This project will provide for 170 construction jobs and, once complete, 50 family-wage staffing jobs that will employ persons of low to moderate income, and will sustain YMCA's youth academic and after-school programs including homework clubs, youth mentoring, leadership training and health and nutrition education.

“The YMCA has been serving Kitsap County for over 100 years and will continue this proud heritage through a new community facility in Silverdale, WA. The Haselwood Family YMCA will offer social, health, and recreational programming to children, youth, adults, and seniors. The Haselwood Family YMCA will be the catalyst towards building a stronger and healthier community in Kitsap County for generations to come,” said Bob Ecklund, President & CEO, YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties.