(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) announced that a grant application for $11.3 million in federal funding to make critical repairs to Upper Hoh Road in Jefferson County has cleared a crucial hurdle and has been advanced by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), placing the project on the short list to receive federal funds.

“Upper Hoh Road is a critical access road for tourists, businesses, and families alike in Jefferson County, and after years of work, I’m thrilled that we are now one step closer to funding the repairs that should have been made years ago,” said Senator Patty Murray. “I’m very grateful for Congressman Kilmer’s dedication to addressing this issue, and we’ll continue working together closely until this project is completed and Upper Hoh Road is repaired.”

“This is a big win for Jefferson County,” said Representative Kilmer. “This funding will help ensure that residents and visitors to our region have access to one of the most beautiful places in the world. In addition to Senator Patty Murray and the numerous local stakeholders who have moved this project forward, my predecessor Representative Norm Dicks, deserves many thanks for his years of hard work and advocacy on this issue.”

“Jefferson County is tremendously grateful for Senator Patty Murray’s and Congressman Derek Kilmer’s efforts in securing an $11 million federal grant for maintenance of the Upper Hoh Rd. Senator Murray and Congressman Kilmer understood how vitally important federal support for the Upper Hoh Rd. is for Jefferson County, the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park, and the tens of thousands of visitors the road supports each year,” said Jefferson County Commissioner John Austin.  “The Upper Hoh Road will be more safe, reliable, and accessible for future generations thanks in no small part to their leadership.”

The Upper Hoh Road is the only vehicular access to the Hoh Rain Forest, a popular tourist destination in the Olympic National Park.  The road is located along the Hoh River, which has caused multiple washouts during severe weather events, sometimes causing temporary closures of the road.  Temporary repairs have caused significant strains on Jefferson County’s financial and human resources.

Jefferson County is applying for funding through the Federal Lands Access Program, which funds improvements to transportation infrastructure that provides access to Federal lands.  If approved, the funding would provide much needed capital improvements to the road as well as bank stabilization measures that are environmentally friendly to local fish habitats.