News Releases

Senator Murray Delivers More Than $3 Million for Walla Walla Transportation Projects

Jul 10 2008

As Chairman of critical Senate Committee, Senator Murray includes funding to expand Highway 12 and improve mass transit in Walla Walla

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included $3,388,000 for Walla Walla transportation projects in the Fiscal Year 2009 Senate Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill. As Chairman of the THUD Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murray uses her position to invest in community-backed Washington state projects that may not otherwise receive federal support.

"Residents of Walla Walla know all too well the safety and traffic history of Highway 12," said Senator Murray. "They also know the importance of investing in mass transit as gas prices continue to soar.  That's why the funding included in this bill for expanding Highway 12 and growing Valley Transit is so important. I'm proud to work to return Walla Walla residents' federal tax dollars to projects in their own backyard."

The following projects were included in the bill for Walla Walla:

U.S. 12 Safety Improvements, Walla Walla County: $3,000,000

This project is the fifth of six construction phases on the corridor improvement that will upgrade the U.S.12 corridor from the Tri-Cities to Walla Walla.  Expanding U.S. 12 from two lanes to a four-lane, divided highway is critical for improving safety, fostering economic development throughout southeast Washington, and addressing growing congestion.

Valley Transit Vehicle Replacement, Walla Walla County: $388,000

This funding will enable the purchase of four 25’ minibuses, fueled with compressed natural gas (CNG). Three will replace aged vehicles and one minibus will be used to expand service. These new vehicles will enable Valley Transit to continue providing critical regional rural bus services to meet rural and intercity mobility needs, including those of the elderly and disabled, and people needing access to basic services and job centers.

“Investment in Valley Transit’s Dial-A-Ride fleet vehicles is critically important for Valley Transit to be able to continue to meet the transportation needs of seniors and persons with disabilities in the Walla Walla Valley," said Dick Fondahn, Valley Transit General Manager. "The service area is growing, as are the numbers of retirees in our community who are looking for public transportation options. These vehicles will help us to maintain our excellent service record and also to provide service to new housing developments surrounding the cities.'