Senator Murray Celebrates Completion of Arlington 172nd Street Overpass

Dec 12 2005

More efficient interchange will increase safety, reduce congestion, and improve quality of life

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) today joined Arlington Mayor Margaret Larson, Marysville Mayor Dennis Kendall, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, and community members to cut a symbolic ribbon and celebrate the completion of the new 172nd St. overpass in Arlington. The overpass will improve traffic safety and efficiency, reduce congestion on local streets, and improve the quality of life for residents of Arlington, Marysville, and surrounding communities.

Senator Murray helped secure $3 million for the project in 2003 as the highest-ranking Democrat on the Senator Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee.

"This project helps the people of Arlington and Marysville – and all of north Snohomish County – in so many important ways," Murray said. "By creating a more efficient interchange, we've made it possible for people and goods to move more quickly and safely."

Senator Murray's remarks, as prepared for delivery, follow:

I'm so glad to be here today with all of you to celebrate this great project. I'm thrilled to see that the new 172nd Street Overpass is now open to traffic and that the project has been completed ahead of schedule.

I knew, just over a year ago, when we stood here together to break ground on this project – that we had a great team working to get us to that point and a great team working to complete the project. But, after you've done this for a while – like I have – you might hear that a project could be completed ahead of schedule, but it hardly ever actually happens! The fact that this project has actually been completed ahead of schedule is a testament to how great a cooperative effort this has been – from start to finish.

Today, as we open this new overpass to traffic, I want to give special thanks to those members of the Arlington, Marysville, and surrounding communities who saw a need, and decided they wanted to work to meet that need. It made me so proud then – and it makes me so proud now – that this has truly been a grassroots effort. I'm delighted that members of this community are keeping our state's strong tradition of grassroots initiative and cooperation alive.

I want to thank all the people and the agencies that have contributed to this project. Specifically, I'd like to thank Members of the Transportation Relief Action Plan – or TRAP, the cities of Marysville and Arlington, our state elected officials, the Transportation Improvement Board, and the Washington State Department of Transportation, for working so hard together to make this investment in the future of Arlington, Marysville, and the surrounding communities.

And I believe strongly that investing in our transportation and infrastructure really is the smart thing to do. As ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Transportation subcommittee, I've seen firsthand that these investments – create good jobs, help our economy, and improve our quality of life. That's why I support these kinds of investments throughout our state.

And it's why, along with Congressman Rick Larsen, I worked to secure $3 million in 2003 for this project – not only to relieve congestion at this interchange but to spur economic growth for your community. When you add in the more than $6 million in state and local funding for the project, the total contribution to this project is over $9 million. That shows how much we all value transportation projects as a way to keep our state moving – and growing.

And the benefits of this project to the local community really are plain to see. By creating a more efficient interchange, we've made it possible for people and goods to move more efficiently and safely. The use of side streets by vehicles will also be greatly reduced, which means that everybody gets where they're going faster, and more safely.

So, this project helps the people of Arlington and Marysville – and all of north Snohomish County – in so many important ways. I'm proud to have contributed to this partnership, and I'm going to continue to be your partner in the United States Senate, as we work together to make the investments in our infrastructure that our state needs to stay strong well into the future.

Thanks so much for your cooperation on these projects, and congratulations on a job that's being very well done.