(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) secured $1.5 million in the Senate’s Energy and Water Appropriations Bill to pay for replacement of the Elliot Bay Seawall.

While neither the president's budget nor the House Appropriations bill included any funding for the project, Murray recognized the need to fund this important priority and fought to have the funding included in the Appropriations bill.

“This funding will help address a critical public safety and transportation, and economic priority,” Murray said. “The Elliot Bay Seawall is a critical part of our region’s infrastructure, and in this tight budget year, the funding will help us study how best to replace this vulnerable structure.”

The nearly 70-year-old seawall has suffered from erosion and earthquake damage and is vulnerable to collapse. Any failure of the seawall would have a devastating impact on both the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the area’s businesses and residents.

Murray has secured $870,000 over the past three years for the project. This includes $100,000 in 2002 to enable the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a “reconnaissance study” to determine if there is a federal interest in repairing the seawall. It also includes another $770,000 in 2003 and 2004 to fund the federal portion of the study.

At a meeting today of the Senate’s Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, of which she is a member, Murray secured the $1.5 million to fund the study, including environmental impact statements, planning, and preliminary design.

Now that the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee has approved the funding, the bill will go to the full Senate Appropriations Committee, and will then be voted on by the full Senate.