News Releases

Estimated to create up to 7,000 jobs, generate $773 million in economic impact

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, announced today that the Spokane Airport Board will receive $11,300,000 in federal funding for a project to improve freight mobility for shippers and manufacturers.

“I helped to create the BUILD grant program ten years ago to fund important projects like this, and as Spokane continues to grow as a regional leader in commerce and trade, I’m glad to see this impactful investment flow to the Spokane Airport to bolster its rail and freight transportation capabilities,” said Senator Murray. “As a voice for our state in the Senate, I will continue pushing to strengthen vital federal programs like BUILD, and fighting for additional investments in critical infrastructure priorities in Eastern Washington and throughout Washington state.”

“Spokane has the workforce to drive its manufacturing and shipping economy, but it needs a robust freight infrastructure network to create new jobs and achieve its full potential. This grant will enable Spokane International Airport to turn vacant land into a freight hub connecting rail and road infrastructure. That vital connection will mean less congestion on our roads and more efficient transportation for goods, promoting economic growth and job creation in the West Plains,” Senator Cantwell said.

The grant will help fund construction of a new rail-truck transload facility at the Spokane International Airport to improve multi-modal freight movement. The project will extend existing rail lines roughly three miles to the airport to provide space for train loading, offloading, and circulation, as well as additional room for freight truck movement.

“Today’s announcement of the award of a BUILD grant for the construction of a Transload Facility at Spokane International Airport represents a turning point in the form of a very strategic investment by USDOT and many local partners that places us on a firm course to achieve our objective to be a world-class intermodal transportation, logistics and advanced manufacturing center that will transform the regional economy,” said Larry Krauter, CEO of Spokane International Airport and Chairman of the West Plains/Airport Area Public Development Authority.

“The Transload Facility will be developed in a location to leverage the full advantage of the air, rail and highway network as well as to open up over a thousand acres of land for commercial development that is located within an Opportunity Zone, Foreign Trade Zone and Community Empowerment Zone. The table is being set for very significant growth of commerce in our region and we are thankful to our many local and state government partners as well as to our business community for their incredible support,” said Nancy Vorhees, Chair of the Airport Board.

According to the airport, the project is estimated to create up to 7,000 jobs, generate $77 million in tax revenue, and produce $773 million in total economic impact. It projects to handle as much as 1.3 million tons of annual rail capacity.

The funding for the project comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant program. Senators Murray and Cantwell wrote letters of support for the project in July.  

###