News Releases

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and U.S. Representative Brian Baird today declared victory in their efforts to secure critical federal funding for Southwest Washington’s transportation priorities. The three secured over $58 million for the region in legislation reauthorizing surface transportation spending through 2009.

SAFETEA-LU, which the House will pass tonight and is expected to clear the Senate tomorrow, sets the funding levels for highways, ferries, and transit programs through 2009.

“I am proud to have partnered with Rep. Baird and Sen. Cantwell to stand up for the transportation needs of Southwest Washington,” Senator Murray said. “In a tough year under tight budget constraints, we stood together to make the investments that will create jobs, improve safety and support the region’s continued growth.”

"These transportation projects will generate jobs, boost our local economy, and create safer, less congested roads to travel on," said Congressman Baird. "Given the current budget constraints, I am pleased Senator Murray, Senator Cantwell, and I were able to work together to secure this important funding for Southwest Washington."

"We need to think of these federal funds as an investment. These are well spent dollars that will create jobs, improve our quality of life, and literally keep our economy moving,” Senator Cantwell said. "I'm proud of the way the delegation has worked together in these tight financial times to make sure Washington gets the improvements our communities need."

Clark County Projects:

  • I-5 Columbia River Crossing Preliminary Engineering and EIS - $8 million: Provides funding for preliminary engineering and an Environmental Impact Study for improvements to Interstate 5 (I-5) between SR 500 in Vancouver, Washington and Marine Drive in Portland, Oregon. The funds will be used to carefully explore Columbia River crossing options within the I-5 corridor between the two states. Improvements will address the ever-increasing passenger and freight congestion that creates severe delays for commuters and traffic safety concerns in the Portland/Vancouver region.

  • I-5/Salmon Creek Area Improvement Project - $10.772 million: Provides funding for road improvements in the NE 134th Street/I-5/I-205 corridor in the northern urban area of Clark County. Funds will be used to alleviate congestion and improve safety in the vicinity of the freeway interchanges.

  • I-5: Delta Park to Lombard - $4 million: - Provides funding to move forward on the Delta Park widening project, which will construct an additional southbound lane between Delta Park and the Lombard Interchange on I-5. Because the freeway narrows from three lanes to two in this area, freight haulers and commuters experience significant delays during peak hours. The secured funds will be used to increase freeway capacity, thereby improving traffic flow and safety for those traveling through this area.

    Congressman Blumenauer secured an additional $3.2 million and Senators Wyden and Smith received an additional $9 million for the Oregon side of this project, bringing the total funding level for the project to $16.2 million.

  • 18th Street between 87th Avenue and NE 192nd Avenue - $3.2 million: Project will widen and extend NE 18th Street between NE 87th Avenue and NE 192nd Avenue and add sidewalks and pedestrian pathways, street lights, and traffic signals. The improved 18th Street will provide access to the planned new freeway interchange and help alleviate growing congestion on Burton Road, Mill Plain Boulevard, and NE 112th Avenue.
  • SR 14 Corridor Camas/Washougal - $1.5 million: Funds preliminary engineering and environmental analysis for improvements to State Route 14 through the Camas/Washougal area. SR 14 is a critical bottleneck responsible for numerous accidents.
  • I-5/SR501 Interchange Replacement in Ridgefield - $9 million: Project consists of replacing the current, congested interchange with a Single Point Urban Interchange and widening SR 501. The project is necessary to accommodate anticipated growth in area, as dictated by the State's growth management plan.

  • Confluence Project - $4.5 million: Provides funding for the City of Vancouver, the National Park Service, and WSDOT to connect the Fort of Vancouver National Historical site to the Columbia River Waterfront by a pedestrian land bridge spanning SR-14 east of I-5.

  • Mill Plain Blvd Improvement - $1.25 million: Provides funding to improve Mill Plain Blvd between 172nd and SE 192nd. The project will add capacity and relieve congestion on adjacent corridors and will serve two large new commercial developments.

  • Vancouver Advanced Traffic Management System - $500,000: This project will create a new highway system that will improve safety and mitigate congestion on I-5 in Vancouver.

Cowlitz County Projects:

  • I-5/SR 503 Access Study and Development Plan - $300,000: Project will improve the interchange at I-5 and SR 503. Funds will be used for an Access Study and Development Plan to modernize the existing interchange and corridor.
  • SR 503 Widening in Woodland - $1 million: Provides funding to improve SR 503 within the city of Woodland. This route and interchange provide access to the south side of Mt. St. Helens and the Lewis River Valley residential, commercial, and recreational areas.

  • SR 4/411 Urban Area Congestion/Renewal Plan - $2 million: Provides funding for the realignment of West Main Street through west Kelso, moving traffic to Catlin Street, which has an intersection with a traffic signal at Ocean Beach Highway (SR 4). This will allow for one signaled intersection to be eliminated and for smoother, more user-friendly traffic routes for vehicles turning northbound onto SR 411.

  • SR 432 Improvements - $1.75 million Provides funding for a project that installs dual left turn lanes and traffic signal modifications at SR 433, and a two-way left turn lane between SR 433 and the beginning of the existing two-way left turn lane east of Columbia Blvd. The addition of these lanes will reduce the congestion that currently affects both highways and railways.

Lewis County Projects:

  • I-5 Widening from Centralia to Grand Mound - $3.75 million: Provides additional funding for the I-5 widening project in Lewis County. The project will add one additional lane on I-5 in each direction. Funds will be used to address the bottlenecks that frequently occur in this stretch of I-5, thereby improving traffic flow and safety.

  • Chehalis Community Pathway - $50,000: Provides funding to study options for a planned community pathway through Chehalis. The analysis will include a public involvement process, and then a formal design of the facility. The proposed pathway would connect the Port of Chehalis Industrial Park, Stan Headwall Park, and a National Avenue site where two historic museums are planned.

Pacific County Projects:

  • Lewis and Clark Scenic Overlook - $146,000: Provides funding for the Lewis and Clark Discovery Trailhead and Scenic Overlook project, which will expand the size and increase safety at the current overlook location. Serving as a trailhead, this overlook is a historic viewpoint on the Lewis and Clark Trail that provides a vista of the Pacific Ocean and is frequented by thousands of visitors every year.

  • Lewis and Clark National Historical Park Transit - $83,600 Funding will allow the City of Ilwaco and Port of Ilwaco to purchase transit vehicles to accommodate the anticipated influx of visitors to the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.

  • Ilwaco Park and Ride - $83,600: Funding will allow the City of Ilwaco and Port of Ilwaco to create a park and ride to facilitate the use shuttles to Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, relieving significant roadway congestion.

  • Willapa Hills Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail - $700,000: Project seeks to convert a former railroad into a 56 mile bicycle and pedestrian trail from Chehalis to Raymond. The project is expected to stimulate economic growth in Southwest Washington communities.

Thurston County Projects:
  • Chehalis-Western Trail "Bridging the Gap" Project - $4.108 million Provides funding for a project that will "bridge the gap" in the backbone of the Thurston County region's north-south non-motorized corridor. Specifically, the project constructs a .6 mile pedestrian and bike bridge over I-5, thereby connecting separate parts of the Chehalis-Western Trail system. The total system reflects a fifteen-year commitment of local, state, and regional agencies to develop this non-motorized transportation system.

  • Port of Olympia Infrastructure Enhancement - $684,000: Provides funding to advance Phase 2 of the Port of Olympia's Infrastructure Enhancement Project. Funding will be utilized for the installation of signals at a grade level crossing where the port's rail traffic intersects with an existing roadway, and the addition of a rail spur for additional intermodal loading and storage to minimize instances where trains block a major city street to accomplish required assembly. The three-phase project is designed to respond to the tremendous growth in cargo volume over the past 6 years, and balance the port's transshipping capacity between truck and rail based operations.
  • Bus Replacement - $752,400: Provides funding for the replacement of vehicles for the Intercity Transit fleet in Thurston County.

Wahkiakum Projects

  • Puget Island Ferry Landing - $250,000: Provides funding to reconfigure the Wahkiakum County Puget Island Ferry landing to more safely and efficiently accommodate truck and automobile traffic.