News Releases

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - In the face of $10 billion in cuts to the eleven appropriations bills passed by the Senate last year, Senator Patty Murray today announced that she has successfully protected funding for Washington state's key transportation priorities in the Omnibus Appropriations bill. The full Senate passed the Omnibus bill 69-29

Working with her Republican counterpart on the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Murray retained the funding levels for Washington state projects that she had previously secured in the Senate's fiscal year (FY) 2003 Transportation spending bill.

"Working in a bipartisan fashion, and facing cuts across the board, I am pleased to have secured federal funding for Washington state's urgent transportation needs," Senator Murray said. "This federal support will help ease congestion and improve safety by investing in public transportation, highways and other critical transportation infrastructure across Washington state."

In addition to the earmarked funding, Washington state will also receive hundreds of millions of dollars in federal highway and transit formula funding. Washington state will receive $503.6 million in Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grants and $101 million in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants to address transportation issues throughout the state.

"Our national and regional economy is hurting, but cutting funding for key transportation projects would only do more damage. We must do all that we can to keep jobs and businesses in Washington state," Murray continued.

TRANSPORTATION EARMARKS FOR EASTERN WASHINGTON:

US 395, N. Spokane Corridor (Spokane)
($5 million)
The North Spokane Corridor project will create a 10.4 mile link between I-90, US 2 and US 395. The project will help relieve congestion in the city, reduce emissions, save fuel and minimize accidents in the area. The project also includes pedestrian/bicycle trails, high-occupancy vehicle lanes and park and ride lots.

Spokane Transit (Spokane) ($3 million)
This funding will help provide an additional facility for paratransit vehicles that can't currently be housed in Spokane Transit's existing structures.

Monroe Street Bridge Rehabilitation (Spokane) ($2.5 million)
The funding will help renovate and repair the Monroe Street Bridge. The Bridge is currently unstable and fails to meet seismic requirements.

I-182/SR-240 Interchange Reconstruction (Spokane) ($3 million)
The project will provide improvements on SR 240 adjacent to the widened Yakima River Bridge to ultimately allow use of all lanes on the bridge. Between Richland and the Yakima River Bridge, an overpass over I-82 will be widened, on and off ramps will be widened to the width of the modified bridge.

US Highway 12, Burbank to Walla Walla (Walla Walla) ($2.5 million)
US Highway 12, from Burbank to Walla Walla is a heavily traveled two-lane highway with average daily traffic counts up to 12,000 vehicles per day, with nearly a third of it being freight trucks. This money will help fund Phase II of this multi-phase project. Specifically, it will build a railroad bridge over the highway to allow for the building of a four-lane highway.

Small Bus Systems Grant - Pullman Transit (Pullman) ($1.18 million)
Replace five 35-foot buses. Replacing these vehicles with new models is critical to reducing emissions and pollutants and increasing safety.

Port of Garfield Road and Bridge Project (Garfield County) ($500,000)
The project will create a new access road and bridge that would join Highway 12 to the Port of Garfield's industrial site. The project will give the port the opportunity to develop the only industrial site in Garfield County, and help diversify the county's economic base. The project will also help ease commercial truck traffic through residential areas. This funding will complete the project.

OTHER EARMARKS FOR EASTERN WASHINGTON

Klickitat County PUD New Sewage Treatment Plant (Klickitat)
$1,485,000
The requested funds will allow the PUD to replace a 46 year old treatment plant while maintaining affordable sewer rates for town residents, protecting the Klickitat Wild and Scenic River, and providing a vital part of the infrastructure needed for economic development. Without this funding, residents' sewer rates will triple to approximately $95 per month. Klickitat County has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 17.1 percent unemployment, and many residents have low incomes.

Richland Water Main Replacement (Richland) $522,000
These funds will help the City to replace leaking water pipes that the federal government first constructed in the 1940s and 1950s. The intended life of the water mains was originally only 10 years. As recently as 1995, the City was losing up to 40 percent of its water because of the faulty pipes. The City of Richland has already invested more than $20 million over the past two decades to replace 54 miles of pipe. This grant will help the City to replace the remaining 16 miles of water mains, which it hopes to do by 2005.

Transitions Women's Drop In Center (Spokane) $225,000
Transitions' Women's Drop In Center will use the funding to purchase a new building for the Women's Drop In Center. The Center provides critical services to more than 250 homeless and low-income women each month.

Columbia Basin Groundwater Management Area Project $180,000
The Columbia Basin Ground Water Management Area Project develops and implements locally driven solutions to address ground water quality in areas of documented nitrate concern in Franklin, Grant and Adams County.