News Releases

NORTHWEST WA: Senator Murray Secures Support for Job-Creating Projects in Northwest Washington

Jul 21 2010

As Chair of Key Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murray Wins Support for Northwest WA Economic Priorities

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee announced that she has included funding to boost Northwest Washington transportation and economic development in the Fiscal Year 2011 THUD Appropriations bill.  The funding will create construction jobs that support community projects, make critical road safety improvements, and improve access to local transit. 

The key spending bill passed through the THUD Appropriations Subcommittee today, and will now move to the full Appropriations Committee for consideration.

“Especially now, it is critical to steer funding into transportation projects that create jobs and boost local economies in our own backyard in Northwest Washington,” said Senator Murray. “This funding will go to support community projects like a shelter for victims of domestic violence and improvements to the Bellingham Waterfront, and I’m committed to continue securing investments for these and other local needs.”

The following projects were included in the bill for the Northwest Washington region:

Bellingham Waterfront Transportation Improvements - $700,000

The City of Bellingham will receive funding that will provide for a multimodal walkway connecting downtown Bellingham to the Bellingham Waterfront project. 

This walkway will provide a safe, alternative route for pedestrians and bicyclists to access the Bellingham Bay and the Waterfront project, which will consist of 3,000 mixed-use housing units, a Western Washington University campus extension and an expansion of downtown Bellingham business development.

“Citizens of Bellingham and our region are looking forward to continuing the progress we and the Port have made on the Waterfront Project.  It will literally transform Bellingham’s shoreline and waterside experience,” said Dan Pike, Mayor of Bellingham. “No amenity will enhance the public’s appreciation of the transformation more than the continuation of the pedestrian and bicycle overwater experience linking busy Boulevard Park and southside neighborhoods to the Waterfront development to come.”

Centennial Trail Expansion - $375,000

Snohomish County will receive funding to support the construction of 1.2 miles of paved, grade separated, multi-purpose transportation and recreational trail. This project will extend the existing 17.5 mile Centennial Trail from its current terminus at 152nd NE on 67th NE to the City of Arlington.

Extending the trail will provide a new non-motorized route for commuters, complete the only continuous, non-motorized transportation connection between the cities of Snohomish and Arlington and continue the County’s efforts to create a green and sustainable trail system supporting both transportation and recreation.

“The Centennial Trail is one of Snohomish County’s most treasured assets. The extension of the trail to the City of Arlington will provide valued quality-of-life benefits to our whole community. I am grateful for Senator Murray's help in completing this existing gap in the Centennial Trail,” said Aaron Reardon, Snohomish County Executive.

Community Transit Vehicle Replacements - $1,000,000

Snohomish County Transportation Benefit Area will receive funding to support the purchase of hybrid buses.

Buses must be available and reliable in order to operate service at current levels and to respond to future increases in service. Ridership is at an all time high and the response to these record numbers is to preserve current service levels.

“We held off on purchasing hybrid buses when they were first introduced because we wanted to see the results.  After observing years off hybrid experience in the Seattle area and doing our own analysis, Community Transit has embraced the technology.  Hybrid buses are cleaner, quieter and in many respects better performing than traditional diesel buses.  The 15 hybrid buses we have running on our Swift bus rapid transit line have proven their value for local bus service, and we believe hybrids are the best vehicles to replace our aging local diesel fleet,” said Joyce Eleanor, CEO, Community Transit.

Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County - $500,000

Funding will support the conversion of the Oswald Army Reserve Center gymnasium into a 60-bed living space for victims of domestic violence and their children.  

This project is important to the community’s effort to reduce the number of women and children who are living in immediate danger of serious physical violence.

“For over 30 years DVS has been the only organization in Snohomish County operating for the sole purpose of providing safety and advocacy for DV victims and their children.  Our 15 bed confidential shelter (the only in Snohomish County) is filled to capacity every single day and has been inadequate for far too long to meet the needs of the many victims fleeing from abuse in this expanding community.  A new larger facility will triple our capacity to house victims and will allow us to locate all of our supportive services under a single roof for the next 30 plus years,” said Teresa Cox, Board President.

Everett Transit Vehicle Replacements - $1,000,000

Everett Transit will receive funding to support the purchase of hybrid diesel-electric heavy duty coaches and paratransit mini-vans.

This procurement will allow Everett Transit to expand its fleet in order to sustain and grow both fixed route and paratransit transportation service levels within the City. This will assist in promoting a more livable community while increasing alternative fuel usage and reducing emissions in the region.

"On behalf of all of the citizens of Everett, we thank Senator Murray for this award to allow us to offer 30,000 more trips per year to the transit dependent community and as many as 105,000 boardings yearly in our city,” Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson said. “This expansion will allow us to sustain and grow transportation service levels in an environmentally sensitive manner and provide continued economic growth for our citizens.”

International Mobility and Trade Corridor Project - $750,000

Whatcom Council of Governments will receive funding to support the facilitation of cross-border planning and coordination for border-related transportation and inspection program projects. IMTC convenes U.S. and Canadian, state and provincial, municipal, NGO, and industry entities to collectively identify, fund, and implement infrastructure and operations improvements that are of shared concern and critical to regional trade and travel through regional border crossings.

As border security requirements have increased and the needs for economic recovery and job creation continue, reducing travel time and transaction costs for trade and travel requires continued attention to infrastructure, optimized operations, and innovative information technology. These strategies rely on interagency, cross-sector, and binational cooperation. WCOG’s IMTC project provides the organizational and technical resources that have sustained repeated successes of U.S. and Canadian agencies partnering across the Western Washington State and British Columbia border.

“With the long list of institutions working at or managing parts of the whole cross-border system, you can really see how important it is to have all these folks, from both sides, working together on a regular and coordinated basis so that they can complement each other’s objectives,” said Jim Miller, Executive Director, Whatcom Council of Governments.

Qwuloolt Access Trail Project - $500,000

The City of Marysville will receive funding for this project that will be utilized to design and construct a boardwalk trail access system to connect existing trails through the Qwuloolt Restoration Project and Ebey Slough shoreline.

This project has been identified as the highest priority within the Recreation Comprehensive Plan and is in concert with the Tulalip Tribes’ efforts in creating employment and community programs which support ecological restoration and partnerships. The Trail Access Project will create at least 25 jobs for design, construction, and management.

“This project will create access to an inaccessible shoreline while providing several opportunities within the total project area that will be designed for park and recreational uses compatible with ecological restoration goals of the Qwuloolt,” said Jim Ballew-Director of Parks and Recreation, City of Marysville.

Skagit Transit Vehicle Replacements - $500,000

Skagit Transit will receive funding to assist in the purchase of two 35 foot fixed route coaches equipped with bike racks, illuminator, security cameras, and automatic vehicle locators.

This project will allow Skagit Transit to retain current service levels of public transportation to the citizens of Skagit County.

Skagit Transit must replace of our aging coaches. The replacement coaches will be operated on our highest volume local routes to accommodate the increasing ridership,” said Dale O’Brien, Executive Director, Skagit Transit.

U.S. Highway 2 and Sultan Basin Road Safety Improvements - $1,000,000

The City of Sultan will receive funding to support the construction of the Sultan Basin Road Realignment to US Highway 2, including curbs, gutters, sidewalks, bike lanes, storm drainage and treatment, traffic control signals, lighting and left turn lanes onto US Highway 2.

This is the third and final phase of US Highway 2 and the Sultan Basin Road Realignment project. This project addresses economic development and public safety improvements.

“I’m very grateful to Senator Patty Murray for seeing the benefit of completing this very important Safety and Economic Development Project in East Snohomish County.  This is the third and final phase of the U.S. 2 and Sultan Basin Road Realignment Project and now that the funding is in place, we’re all excited to get started and finish the project,” said Carolyn Eslick, Mayor of Sultan.

Interstate 5 West Coast Green Highway Electrification Demonstration Project - $1,000,000

The Washington State Department of Transportation will receive funding that will provide for the construction and placement of 11 electric vehicle charging locations along the Interstate 5 corridor.

This project will provide clean transportation and emerging technologies to a regional market of 10 million consumers travelling throughout the Interstate 5 corridor. The project will also attract commuters and green-technology industries that are looking to locate or expand their business opportunities in an electric vehicle-ready region.

“This is good news for Washington as we continue our efforts of creating the nation’s first electric interstate highway,” said Gov. Chris Gregoire. “These federal funds will help our efforts to create green jobs while reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.  I thank Senator Murray for her commitment to a clean economy and her efforts to make sure we have a partner in the federal government to build the west coast green highway.”

“We appreciate Senator Murray’s dedication and unwavering support for funding transportation improvements,” said Paula Hammond, Washington Transportation Secretary. “Senator Murray has brought millions of federal transportation dollars to Washington state to help with our mission to keep people and business moving. This project will bolster Washington’s electric vehicle readiness by completing the charging infrastructure along I-5, one of our busiest highways and the backbone of Western Washington’s economy.”