Today Senator Murray attended the groundbreaking for the service and maintenance facility for the light rail trains, the reasonable starting point to begin construction of the light rail line.

Just a few weeks ago, Senator Murray announced that after years of hard work, obstacles and roadblocks the Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA), which commits the federal government to providing $500 million to build Link Light Rail in the Puget Sound was signed. News Release

Senator Murray delivered the following remarks at today's groundbreaking:

Thank you, Ron.

Over the years I’ve attended a lot of groundbreakings, but this one is special for two reasons.

First, I know that Light Rail will be a tremendous asset for our region.

It will:
  • create jobs,
  • make transportation more efficient,
  • reduce congestion,
  • and improve our quality of life.

We really do have something to celebrate here. And second, this is a special day because I know how high a mountain we had to climb to get here.

After nearly two years of answering tough questions -- and a lot of hard work by everyone here -- the $500 million Full Funding Grant Agreement to build Link Light Rail was finally signed two weeks ago.

I want to commend outstanding leaders like Ron Sims, Bob Drewel, Greg Nickels and John Ladenburg. They knew this project was a critical part of our region’s transportation solution. In the face of many challenges, they stuck to it and showed real leadership.

And of course, I want to congratulate everyone at Sound Transit. Joni Earl – took the reigns of this agency, answered the questions, and literally made it happen. This celebration is a great tribute to Joni and everyone at Sound Transit.

This was a team effort, and I want to commend my colleagues – especially Norm Dicks – for the passion and energy they’ve brought.

Finally, the Bush Administration – including Transportation Secretary Mineta and FTA Administrator Jenna Dorn – understood the benefits of this project and worked with us to make Link Light Rail a reality.

So as we break ground today, we’re opening a new chapter in the history of the Puget Sound. We’ve shown that we can work together, we can invest in our community, and we can take action to make life better throughout the region.

I’m sure there will be engineering and other challenges in this next phase. But I know that we can get through them. I know that Sound Transit and the elected leaders here today will bring the same type of enthusiasm and expertise to the work ahead.

As I said when we announced the signing of the FFGA two weeks ago, Sound Transit is the Little Engine That Could.

Today all I can say is - Full Steam Ahead.