News Releases

Murray Announces that North Spokane Corridor Freeway is the First TIGER Grant Project Funded Nationwide

Apr 29 2010

TODAY: USDOT and WSDOT sign major grant agreement to move forward with project funded by TIGER grant program created by Senator Murray

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee, announced that the North Spokane Corridor freeway has become the first project funded nationwide under the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant program that she created in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Under a grant agreement signed today by the Washington state DOT and U.S. DOT the project will receive $35 million to complete a critical 3.7 mile stretch of the freeway. Murray set up the TIGER program to fund transportation projects, like the North Spokane Corridor freeway, that create jobs, boost local economies, and improve transportation infrastructure.

“It goes to show how vital the North Spokane freeway is that it was the very first TIGER project funded out of fifty-one projects selected nationwide,” said Senator Murray. This project is not only going to put people to work, it’s also going to have a big impact on reducing congestion and making Spokane a more competitive region. Spokane has invested its time, energy and resources into completing this freeway. I’m so pleased that we were able to add this important federal help.”

“We are proud to be the first TIGER grant project to begin construction, putting people to work and improving Spokane’s freight and community access,” said Paula Hammond, Secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

WSDOT plans to use TIGER funding to build two southbound lanes from Francis Avenue to US 395, completing 3.7 miles of the highway in an economically important corridor. Expansion and replacement of U.S.395 through Spokane remains one of the region’s top transportation priorities.  The corridor has become increasingly congested due to population growth in the region as well as increased truck volumes.  The project creates a thoroughfare through the city of Spokane connecting I-90 with U.S. 395, north of the city.  When fully completed, the North Spokane Corridor will be a 60-mile per hour, limited access highway.  However, it will also facilitate enhanced transit service as well as improved facilities for bicycles and pedestrian traffic. 

Senator Murray created the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant program in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  The grants were awarded competitively by the U.S. Department of Transportation.