News Releases

Senator Murray Announces Funding to Expand the Port of Olympia and Boost Economic Growth

Dec 06 2005

Murray's $1 million will help the Port of Olympia reduce congestion, increase capacity, create jobs, and improve freight mobility

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – At the Port of Olympia today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) joined local leaders to announce that she has secured $1 million to support the Port of Olympia's Intermodal Rail Expansion Project. This project will enable the Port to expand its cargo capacity, and will contribute to economic growth in the region.



As the top Democrat on the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, Murray helped secure the funding in the Transportation Appropriations bill for 2006, which President Bush signed into law on November 30th, 2005.



"This investment is great news for the region’s economy, for local businesses, for the port, and for our state," Senator Murray said. "For the South Puget Sound, it means we’re going to grow the region’s economy. For working families, it means more jobs here at the port and more local businesses hiring workers. For our producers and importers, it means we’ll have more capacity at the Port to trade with the world. For local residents, it means you’ll have fewer trucks on residential streets, less traffic congestion on I-5, and a better quality of life."



Also attending the announcement were: Port Commissioner Steve Pottle, Port Commissioner Paul Telford, Port Director Ed Galligan, Keith Bausch (ILWU, Local 47), Randy Peterson (Tri-City Railroad), and Michael Cade (Economic Development Council of Thurston County).



“Senator Murray has provided outstanding leadership to secure federal resources in a tight budget year to support this critical project to improve the port’s intermodal capacity,” said Port Commissioner Steve Pottle. “This project will increase the port’s ability to handle greater volumes by shifting cargo from truck to rail, bringing new business and more jobs to our community. It will also help reduce regional truck traffic and congestion on the I-5 corridor.”



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



“Today is a great day for the people, the economy, and the future of Olympia. I’m thrilled to be here to celebrate with you and to announce some critical federal funding I was able to secure for transportation improvements that will help shape the region well into the future.



We all know our ports and transportation infrastructure are the economic engines moving people and goods across our state and laying the foundation for continued economic growth. And, thanks to all of you, we’re making that engine even stronger and more powerful here in Olympia.



All of us know how important trade and our ability to move goods quickly and efficiently through our ports is to the economy. That's why I’ve worked so hard at the federal level to make critical investments in our waterways, our highways, our railways and our ports.



But in order to sustain that growth we must make other investments in our transportation infrastructure to address increased traffic and improve access to the port. That’s why I’m proud to announce that I was able to secure $1 million to support the Port of Olympia’s efforts to reduce congestion, increase capacity, and improve freight mobility.



As the highest ranking Democrat on the committee that funds the Department of Transportation, I was able to use my position to make the federal government a partner in this important project. This money, along with the funds secured by Congressman Brian Baird, will fully fund the second phase of this project that will allow more cargo to leave the port on high-capacity trains.



This investment is great news for the region’s economy, for local businesses, for the port, and for our state. For the South Puget Sound, it means we’re going to grow the region’s economy. For working families, it means more jobs here at the port and more local businesses hiring workers. For our producers and importers, it means we’ll have more capacity at the Port to trade with the world. For local residents, it means you’ll have fewer trucks on residential streets, less traffic congestion on I-5, and a better quality of life. And for our state, it means we are moving forward – planning for the future and making sure we benefit from it.



This day has been a long time in the making for many of you and your success reflects your commitment to building a better future for the entire community. I applaud your work and your foresight.



I talk to people all over our state who have ideas about how to help their communities and sometimes they don’t know how to move forward. I always tell them to do exactly what you have done here – develop a vision, build a broad coalition and don’t stop until you make it happen.



I'm so excited about the positive impact this funding and this project will have on the future of Olympia. The investment we’re making today to improve transportation infrastructure lays the foundation for future economic growth.



Everyone here played a role in helping us reach this point – and I just want to say my special thanks to the Port Commissioners and staff and to local business leaders. When we invest in our transportation infrastructure, we reduce congestion, improve safety, and build stronger communities. Today, we’re ensuring that the port and city will be ready for the future and we're confirming that we're willing to make the critical investments that will serve this community for decades to come.



So, I’m proud to be here today to support this important project. Thank you for your work and dedication, and I look forward to working with you to make this project a success well into the future.”