News Releases

Murray Secures Critical Funding for Puget Sound Priorities in Omnibus Conference Report

Feb 13 2003

Also secures funding for community investments in YWCA, Mason county PUD

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Senator Patty Murray has successfully protected important federal funding for many of Washington state's priorities in the final House-Senate compromise on the Omnibus Appropriations bill.

The conference report is the final step in the yearlong appropriations process. The measure is expected to pass the House later today and the Senate tomorrow, before going to the President to become law.

Working with her Republican counterparts on the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, Murray retained the funding levels for Washington state projects that she had previously secured in the Senate's fiscal year (FY) 2003 Appropriations bill.

Given that the FY 2003 bill was cut dramatically by the new majority from what Senate Appropriators had passed last year, Murray's success in delivering for the state is especially noteworthy.

"In the face of significant cuts, I am pleased to have maintained this critical federal funding for our state's urgent transportation, health care, and education needs," Senator Murray said. "I know this increased federal support will make a real difference for families and communities in our region."


FAST Corridor Project ($10 million) The FAST Corridor project is a series of grade-crossing and port-access projects in the corridor between Tacoma and Everett intended to enhance passenger and freight mobility in the Puget Sound region. Senator Murray has secured over $120 million for this project to date, including $20 million in the last year.

Sounder Commuter Rail ($30 million) These funds may be used to pay for right-of-way, equipment and construction to expand Sounder Commuter Rail services between Seattle, Everett, Tacoma and Lakewood. Senator Murray secured $20 million for this project last year.

Operation Safe Commerce $30 million nationally (approx. $10 million for Seattle-Tacoma) "Operation Safe Commerce," is a pilot program that will provide funding to America's three largest container ports to address the security vulnerabilities posed by more than 6 million intermodal containers that enter U.S. ports each year. The three ports take in half of all container cargo entering the U.S. The Ports of Seattle and Tacoma comprise the third busiest container port in the country, after Los Angeles-Long Beach and New York-New Jersey.

Edmonds Crossing Multimodal Projec ($3.5 million) The funding will provide for the design and property acquisition phase of the Edmonds crossing Multimodal Project. This will be a new facility for transit connections in Edmonds.

Airport Security Demonstration at SeaTac ($3 million) This funding will help develop a pilot project at SeaTac to create a security solution that integrates the capabilities of mobile software to monitor and interpret air traffic operations and irregular flight conditions. The company that will commission this project is Topia, a Washington state company.

SR99/Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seattle Seawall Replacement ($2 million) The project will commence preliminary engineering and design work on how to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seattle Seawall.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Air Traffic Control Tower ($550,000) Help with the replacement tower construction and development

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, TRACON ($4.8 million) Assist in the air traffic control improvements at SeaTac.

Paine Field (Everett) ($925,000) Make various improvements to the air traffic control system.

Seattle Everett Rail Corridor Study ($750,000) Funding to conduct a study of track capacity and utilization by freight, commuter and intercity rail services in the Seattle-Everett Rail Corridor and the environmental challenges that would accompany expansion of that track capacity.

Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor Rail Safety Improvement Projects (Amtrak Cascades) ($1 million) This project will improve the high-speed rail linking Eugene, Oregon, Portland, Seattle, Washington, and British Columbia. It is part of an incremental program that envisions 13 daily round trips between Seattle and Portland, operating at speeds up to 110 mph. To accomplish this goal, a series of grade crossing improvements all along the corridor are needed. In addition, these improvements the project will help improve commuter and freight traffic from Seattle to Everett.

Rebuild ISC Seattle Pier 36 - Phase I ($16 million) The Coast Guard is in the process of repairing and rebuilding the Coast Guard's Integrated Support Center at Pier 36 in Seattle. The facilities are outdated and need to be rebuilt and repairs need to be made due to damage from the Nisqually Earthquake in February 2001.

Aurora Ave. North Bus Rapid Transit ($1.5 million) This money will fund an integrated package of capital projects on the Aurora North Corridor to improve speed and reliability of transit and better transit access. Elements include sidewalk repair and construction; safety improvements like lighting and pedestrian signals; and new bus shelters that include technology allowing transit users to track the status of their bus.

Community Transit Park and Ride ($3 million) The project provides support for the development of additional park and ride capacity on both the I-5 and I-405 corridors in Snohomish County.

Burien Transit Center/Transit Oriented Development ($2 million) The City of Burien, in conjunction with King County Metro, is in the process of redeveloping the downtown urban center and plans to construct a Transit Oriented Development at this site which will incorporate a new off-street bus Transit Center, multi-use housing, and office and retail uses. Funds for this project will permit development of the structured parking facility, which will, in turn, facilitate the overall redevelopment effort.

Pierce Transit Bus Initiative ($3 million) The funding will support the replacement of 19 high-mileage diesel buses with compressed natural gas vehicles.

City of Kent Intracity Transit Project ($1.5 million) The project will assist the City of Kent Commute Trip Reduction Program, which provides connector service between Kent's Sounder Commuter Rail Station and Kent's Industrial Valley.

Everett Development 41st Street Interchange ($1 million) Funding will support redesign and renovations of the 41st Street/I-5 Interchange to ease traffic congestion.

Interurban Trail Construction ($400,000) This project will construct a 3-mile non-motorized trail "arterial" through Shoreline connecting to the Interurban trail system in Seattle and Snohomish Counties. The trail will serve transportation and recreational uses and create a linear park the length of Shoreline.

City of Lynnwood Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) ($2 million) The project will install a multi-component ITS to improve infrastructure. Improvements will include transit signals and technical renovations to the operations center.

Program of Projects, Washington ($5 million) This money will go to the state of Washington to accelerate the integration and interoperability of ITS across the system, jurisdiction and modal boundaries, in metropolitan and rural areas, to improve transportation efficiency, promote safety, increase traffic flow, reduce emissions of air pollutants, improve traveler information, and enhance alternative modes. The money will go to several projects across the state.

Regional Express Transit Hubs (Mercer Island, Federal Way, Kirkland, Lynnwood and Lakewood) ($4 million) This project will support increased park and ride capacity lot, new transit centers and HOV direct access ramps to facilitate efficient access for buses and carpools.

Vehicular Flywheel System ($1.375 million) This funding will help the Vehicular Flywheel Project comply with safety requirements, satisfy heavy-duty vehicle power management requirements, meet federal standardized weight and size requirements and provide engineering support for the flywheel power system during vehicle testing as required by design specifications.

SR 164 Improvements, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe ($420,000) The funds will help create left turn lanes, bus turnouts and flashing beacons for pedestrians on the road which links Auburn and Enumclaw and serves the Muckleshoot Reservation.

Thea Foss Waterway Environmental Protection and Transportation Impact Project ($500,000) The funds will support a study by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources to conduct a study of the effects to public health, safety, the environment and the economy from the discharge of storm-water from two interstate highways and connected transportation routes into the Thea Foss Waterway in Tacoma.

I-405 Corridor Improvements - Tukwila to Lynnwood ($2 million) The project will start the preliminary engineering, detailed environmental review and the permitting process for I-405 improvements and expansion.

WorkFirst Transportation Initiative ($4.75 million) The project will provide transportation to low-income job seekers and workers in a number of ways including, new transit routes, extended hours of transit services (nights and weekends), van-pooling, ride-sharing, transporting people from outlying areas to transit hubs, and employer-provided transportation.

Interactive Highway Safety Design Model (Battelle) ($1.5 million) Funds to conduct research into heavy vehicle safety, and vulnerability assessments regarding security and safety in all modes of transportation.

Washington State Ferries ($5 million) This is the yearly entitlement funding under TEA-21 for the Washington State Ferries. Washington is one of only three states to receive such funding.

Washington State Ferries, Rich Passage Passenger Ferry Project ($800,000) This project will analyze the most feasible approach to high-speed water transportation between the cities of Bremerton and Seattle in Washington state.

Washington State Ferries Wireless Connection Project ($800,000) This funding will develop system-wide wireless connectivity for crew and passengers on Washington State Ferries. The company that would do the work is Mobilisa, Inc., a Port Townsend, WA company.

Oil Spill Prevention, 13th District ($1.6 million) This project will provide funding for the Captain of the Port in Puget Sound to improve oil spill mitigation and prevention.

Maritime Electro-Optical Infrared (EO/IR), Handheld and Fixed Sensors (FLIR) ($4 million) These sensors are on cutters, patrol boats, as well as for Marine Safety Offices and Marine Safety and Security Teams. These sensors assist in both the maritime safety and security mission goals by enabling the Coast Guard personnel to conduct maritime operations safely and effectively at night in adverse weather conditions.


City of Bremerton, Ferry Exit Tunnel ($6.2 million) Funding would be used to do preliminary engineering and design for a tunnel exit for vehicles off-loading from ferries at the Bremerton Terminal. This project would help avoid excessive traffic on the streets of Bremerton when ferry traffic is off loading.

Bremerton Airport ($300,000) This funding will help make runway and facility improvements. Murray helped to add the earmark in conference.

Kitsap Transit, Sidney Landing Terminal ($2 million) This project will help construct new docks, ramps and floats, including ADA access "Ramp Rider," bus stops, and shelters and a bus lane.

Washington State Ferries, Rich Passage Passenger Ferry Project ($800,000) This project will analyze the most feasible approach to high-speed water transportation between the cities of Bremerton and Seattle in Washington state.


Olympic Discovery Trail ($1 million) This project will support expansion of the scenic bike and walking trail up and down the Olympic Peninsula.

City of Aberdeen, Washington Downtown Revitalization ($100,000) This funding would allow the city of Aberdeen to engineer needed pedestrian and traffic safety improvements to complement a highway widening project scheduled for the summer of 2003.

City of Port Angeles, International Gateway Project ($1.5 million) This project will help finish parking facilities for the downtown Port Angeles, International Gateway Project, which is a critical economic development project.

BIA Route 13/Route 1, Makah Indian Tribe ($5.4 million) This funding will allow the 4.3 mile road from the Tribal Center to Cape Flattery to be paved, including bike and pedestrian lanes.

SR 104/Hood Canal Bridge East Half Replacement ($3 million) This funding will help replace the deteriorating Hood Canal Bridge and increase its resistance to weather related damage.

Small Bus Systems Grant - Grays Harbor Transportation($144,000) This funding will help replace three 25-foot buses in Grays Harbor.

I-90, Two-Way Transit Operations ($750,000) This earmark was in the House bill. Murray helped protect the funding during conference.

Intercity Transit Fare Collection Equipment/Thurston County ($250,000) This earmark was in the House bill. Murray helped protect the funding during conference.

Issaquah Highlands Park & Ride ($1.4 million) This earmark was in the House bill. Murray helped protect the funding during conference.

Jefferson Country Transit Facilities ($1 million) This earmark was in the House bill. Murray helped protect the funding during conference.

King Street Station Multi-Modal Facility (Seattle) ($250,000) This earmark was in the House bill. Murray helped protect the funding during conference.

Lakewood Park & Ride (Tacoma) ($1.5 million) This earmark was in the House bill. Murray helped protect the funding during conference.

Mason County Transportation Authority Facilities ($300,000) This earmark was in the House bill. Murray helped protect the funding during conference.

Mercer Island Transit Center, Park & Ride ($500,000) This earmark was in the House bill. Murray helped protect the funding during conference.


Sen. Murray also secured funding for a number of community investments.

Forks' Telecommunications Initiative, Forks ($90,000) The city will use the funding to help complete a small business incubator in a former CenturyTel facility. Specifically, funding will be used to purchase shared equipment for use by the tenants, undertake tenant improvements to specific offices, and finalize the area's telecommunications vision into a strategic implementation plan.

Seattle Police Department - Digital video cameras ($750,000) This funding will support the Seattle Police Department's efforts to equip police cars with digital video surveillance cameras. Video cameras in police vehicles serve to bolster prosecution of criminal violations and traffic infractions, improve officer safety and provide an objective record of police and citizen interaction.

Mason County PUD Waste Water System ($693,000) This grant will allow Mason County Public Utility District to solve severe water pollution problems that have contaminated Finch Creek, periodically closed the state's Hoodsport fish hatchery, and led to bans on swimming and shellfish harvesting on nearby Hood Canal beaches. The requested funds will allow the PUD to decommission 40 failing septic tanks that drain into and contaminate Finch Creek and Hood Canal and to replace them with a wastewater collection system.

YWCA Opportunity Place, Seattle ($450,000) The YWCA will use the funding to help build the YWCA Opportunity Place. When Opportunity Place is completed it will provide critical services to 3,000 chronically homeless women and employment services to 1,300 adults, helping them to move from welfare to work. Opportunity Place will include 145 studio and one-bedroom apartments for very low-income and homeless persons. The facility will employ approximately 40 very low-income people in the delivery of services to clients and an additional 30 people in retail activity as part of the project.

Friends of Youth's Griffin Home, Renton ($225,000) Friends of Youth will use the funding to help renovate two aging homes, modernize on-site school classrooms, and add two professionally-staffed foster care homes to the Griffin Home site. Griffin Home is one of the few remaining residential treatment programs in the state for troubled and homeless boys aged 12-18.

Building Better Futures Community Centers Campaign, Kent ($495,000) Funding will help the Building Better Futures campaign meet its goal of building two new community centers in Kent. The centers will provide Head Start, primary health care, after-school recreation and homework support, job training, and placement services to immigrant or refugee and other low-income families. The community centers will directly serve three low-income housing complexes with more than 2,000 residents whose average income is 18 percent of adjusted median income.

Northwest Center for Livable Communities, University of Washington ($225,000) The Center will use the funding to create a new resource for Washington state communities as they manage a variety of challenges, including economic and community development, creating affordable housing, preventing sprawl, and enhancing the use of technology.

Squaxin Island Museum, Library and Research Center, Shelton ($180,000) The Tribe will use the funding to purchase display cases and install an interactive learning section in its newly-completed museum. The new museum will be an outstanding economic and cultural resource for the Tribe.

Elks Club of Pierce and Thurston Counties, Toys for Disabled Youth Initiative ($90,000) The Elks Club will work with four groups - low- and moderate-income families, pediatric occupational therapists, toy retailers and toy manufacturers - to produce toys that will help disabled children learn and develop skills and imagination. If successful, this one-year pilot program will be extended to a larger geographic area.

Kitsap County / Hood Canal ($200,000) These funds will allow Kitsap County to purchase 20 acres of waterfront along Hood Canal. Laughlin Cove is ideal for a waterfront park and a future campsite. The forested site includes 1,200 feet of beachfront and has stunning views of the Olympics. This appropriation complements the $500,000 included in last year's final CJS bill for Kitsap County.

Howard Hansen Dam Ecosystem Restoration and Additional Water Supply Project ($6.8 million) This is a Corps of Engineers project in coordination with Tacoma Public Utilities and other regional water interests that restores habitat, creates new water supply and meets ESA protection goals.

Mud Mountain Dam/Lake Tapps ($2.5 million) The project funds the Corps of Engineers part of the effort to retain Lake Tapps.

Grays Harbor Navigation and Jetty Project ($11.5 million) This funding will help maintain the Harbor and work and studies related to the North and South jetties.

Rehabilitation of Breakwater at Neah Bay ($1.2 million) The breakwater serves as protection of a marina and a Coast Guard station.

I-90/Plum Creek Land Exchange ($4 million) This will help the Forest Service acquisition of land left out of the original land exchange. This will help address the checkerboard pattern of ownership that creates ecological holes and management problems.

Forest Service Acquisition ($1.5 million) The funds will help the Forest Service acquire lands along wild and scenic rivers including the Skagit River.

Skykomish River Conservation Easements ($920,000) These funds will help acquire conservation easements on streamside timberlands, which will prevent development that threatens this important riparian and upland habitat.

Construction and Restoration at Mt. Rainier National Park ($4.4 million) These funds will help the Park construct seasonal employee housing and make repairs to the Guide House.

Protecting and Enhancing Washington's Wine Industry ($850,000) The omnibus appropriations bill includes an $850,000 increase for viticulture research in the Pacific Northwest. The increase includes $150,000 to develop a clean "motherblock" for the Washington wine industry. As the industry grows, it needs a disease and virus-free "motherblock" of plant material. The industry has grown so rapidly that there are growing concerns that farmers are planting grapevine that may contain viruses that could devastate the industry. One of the strengths of our industry is that our rootstock is clean. The research dollars secured will help to build a new, clean rootstock for distribution to existing and new growers. This research will take place at Prosser. The bill also includes $400,000 for the Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research for viticulture research. $200,000 will go directly for research at the center. The other $200,000 will be awarded competitively for collaborative research between WSU, Oregon State University and the University of Idaho.

Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center (Seattle) ($500,000) This funding will support the third and final phase of the Children's Health Access Regional Telemedicine Network Implementation that links remote areas of Washington to specialty pediatric services.

First Book ($500,000) To distribute books to low-income children living in rural areas by supporting the establishment of First Book local advisory boards in rural Washington communities.

The Mockingbird Society ($325,000) The funds will support a pilot program to care for and stabilize seriously disturbed children and adolescents in the Washington foster care system. The model will reduce unnecessary multiple placements, maintain siblings' connection and relationship, provide regular respite care for foster parents and increase the cultural relevancy to children and adolescents of color.

The Evergreen State College ($150,000) This funding will support the development of a new Masters of Public Administration degree in Tribal Governance. In the course of implementing self-determination, tribal governments face ever-increasing needs for qualified professionals to meet the demands of working with complex intergovernmental relations combined with the need to create strategies for sustainable communities. This two-year graduate degree program is based on the creation of a new curriculum. It is being implemented after several years of consultation with the tribes.

Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction ($500,000) These funds will help develop and implement a statewide database to acquire, analyze and share student data in order to meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act and other educational reform efforts.

Girl Scouts - Pacific Peaks Council, Tumwater ($100,000) These funds will equip and furnish the Girl Scout Center serving more than 10,000 girls and 3,000 adults.

Washington State Methamphetamine Program ($3 million) These funds will allow cities and counties to continue to work to fight the proliferation of "meth" labs across the state. Washington state currently has the second highest number of meth labs in the country. This program relies on an integrated system involving state and local governments, non-profits and commercial entities to combat this problem.

Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund $28 million ($90 million total) These funds are used for habitat restoration and other programs to restore endangered and listed salmon runs in WA, OR, CA, and AK. The $90 million includes, $28 million for WA, $9 million for coastal tribes and $3 million for Columbia River tribes to participate in these efforts.

Pacific Salmon Treaty ($40 million) These funds are the final payment needed to for the federal government to fulfill its international responsibilities under the Pacific Salmon Treaty. The $40 million provides $25 million to capitalize the Northern Boundary Restoration and Enhancement Fund and $15 million to capitalize the Southern Boundary Fund. This is the final year that appropriations will be needed to fully implement the Treaty.

Groundfish Buy-Back Disaster Funds ($10 million) The Omnibus includes authorization language necessary to allow a $50 million West Coast Groundfish buy-back program to proceed quickly. There are currently too many vessels fishing for severely depressed groundfish stocks, and this program will allow fishers who want to leave the fishery to receive compensation for their permits and vessels. The bill also includes $10 million in federal emergency assistance to reduce the loan burden on those fishers who choose to remain in the fishery.

University of Washington Life Sciences Building ($3.5 million) This funding will assist with the construction of a new Life Sciences building on the UW campus. Senator Murray and Congressman Dicks worked very closely on this initiative. The new facility will house important research in bio-engineering and nanotechnology, computational bio-engineering, engineered biomaterials and medical imaging and image-guided therapy. The University of Washington will raise $53 million in non-Federal monies for this research facility.