News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee, announced that the Mercer Corridor Project has become funded 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 Seattle DOT and U.S. DOT the project will receive $30 million to complete critical improvements to the Mercer Corridor. Murray set up the TIGER program to fund transportation projects, like the Mercer Corridor project, that create jobs, boost local economies, and improve transportation infrastructure.

“I’m proud that the Mercer Corridor project is receiving federal help,” said Senator Murray. “Rebuilding the Mercer Corridor will provide both short and long term benefits to our economy by directly creating construction jobs, improving port and highway access and significantly reducing the commute time in an area that hosts some of the region’s most vital employers.”  

The Mercer Corridor is a critical transportation corridor that carries more than 80,000 people a day. It has been a major traffic bottleneck in the Seattle area, limiting access to the growing South Lake Union area, ports and highways, the Seattle Waterfront, and the Seattle Center. It is also directly connected to the Alaskan Way Viaduct. The project supports growth in many key sectors of Washington state’s economy including information technology, biotechnology, tourism, and international trade. Major employers located directly in the region include the University of Washington Medical Center, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Amazon.com, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

SDOT plans to use the TIGER Grant funding to build multi-modal improvements along Mercer and Valley streets including widening Mercer to create a two-way boulevard, reconstructing Valley Street as a local access street, providing new and wider sidewalks, improving connections to transit and adding bicycle lanes. The project replaces major utility infrastructure and integrates many environmentally friendly and sustainable design features. It supports the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project (SR 99) and rebuilds the street grid in South Lake Union

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.