News Releases

Southwest WA: Murray Adds $4.85 Million for Transportation and Community Development Priorities in Southwest Washington

Jul 12 2007

$2 million for Port of Vancouver West Freight Access project included in funding provided by Murray-Chaired Committee

(Washington, D.C) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included $4.85 million in funding for transportation and community development projects in Southwest Washington in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill. Senator Murray is the Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee. 

Among the projects funded in the bill is the Port of Vancouver's West Freight Access project which will bring new rail access to the port and enhance the port’s internal rail system. The bill includes $2 million for the project that will:

  • Change the main rail line into the port so that it no longer runs directly across the BNSF railway mainline. This will result in a 40% reduction in rail traffic delays.
  • Allow the port to receive large inbound trains directly into the port and will provide an area where Unit Trains can be staged, inspected, prepared and built ready for departure
  • Add capacity for current industrial tenants and marine customers and prepare for the growth of rail cars entering the Port.

"This investment in the Port of Vancouver is absolutely necessary if we want the port to be poised to take on the new demands of the global economy," said Senator Murray. "This funding will build infrastructure that will allow the port to handle increased rail traffic, spur regional economic growth, and bring jobs to Southwest Washington."

Arch Miller, Chair of the Port of Vancouver Commission also stressed the importance of the West Freight Access project:

“The West Vancouver Freight Access Project is critical to the Port of Vancouver, as well as the mainline rail system," Miller said. This project will help to greatly relieve rail congestion at the Vancouver Wye and will provide improved rail service to our tenants and customers, today and into the future. My gratitude, and that of the rest of the commission and the port staff, goes out to Senator Murray for her hard work on behalf of the Port of Vancouver.”

The THUD bill passed the full Appropriations Committee today and will now move to the full Senate for consideration. 

Other important projects funded by Senator Murray in Southwest Washington include:

C-Tran Vehicle Replacement, $700,000

This money will help C-Tran replace current buses with 40-foot coaches that include hybrid power.  This appropriation will help C-Tran’s commitment to cleaner more fuel efficient hybrid buses

Battle Ground Community Center $400,000

The Battle Ground Community Center will serve as a recreation and educational programming space for citizens of Battle Ground.  Construction of the Community Center is part of a larger project to spur increased activity in Battle Ground’s downtown core. 

Wahkiakum County, Wahkiakum County Ferry $200,000

The Ferry Wahkiakum is a vital part of the economy of the lower Columbia communities.  There are no other opportunities for crossing the Columbia River in the region without going a significant distance.  When either of the two bridges are closed additional traffic utilizes the ferry.  The ferry has become increasingly popular in recent years with tourist and bicyclists.   The ferry Wahkiakum has been in service for nearly 50 years.  

Phoenix House, Kelso $500,000

Phoenix House will be a new three story building that will provide service enriched housing for homeless women with substance abuse problems who have children and/or are pregnant.  Phoenix House will enable the women to gain the stability in their lives needed to continue their recovery by providing not only a safe place to live with their children, but also opportunities to strengthen their social and life skills. Phoenix House is a partnership between the Longview Housing Authority, who will develop, own and manage the housing, and the Drug Abuse Prevention Center who will provide services to the residents of Phoenix House.  There are approximately 10 local partners that participate in the P-CAP program and include local health care and social service providers.  The local drug court is very support of this effort as well. 

Clark County I-5/I-205 Salmon Creek Interchange Project $1 million

This funding will support efforts by Clark County to build a new I-5 interchange at NE 139th and make other road improvements throughout the NE 134th Street/I-5/I-205 corridor in the northern urban area of Clark County. This project will alleviate congestion and improve safety. 

Pacific Transit Vehicle Replacement -- $50,000

This funding will go toward enabling Pacific Transit to purchase 1 new vehicle to support rural mobility needs.