News Releases

Senator Murray Delivers Millions for Southwest Washington Transportation, Housing, and Community Development Projects

Jul 10 2008

As Chairman of critical Senate Committee, Senator Murray includes funding for SW Washington waterfront redevelopment, mass transit, and economic development in Senate spending bill

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included $7,740,000 million for Southwest Washington transportation, housing, and community development projects in the Fiscal Year 2009 Senate Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill. As Chairman of the THUD Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murray uses her position to invest in community-backed Washington state projects that may not otherwise receive federal support.

"Although Southwest Washington continues to grow, residents of the region face the same issues we see across our state, including soaring gas prices and aging infrastructure." said Senator Murray. "This bill makes timely investments in mass transit, rail access, and road improvements that will help keep Southwest Washington's families and economy moving. I'm proud to work to return some of Southwest Washington residents' federal tax dollars to projects in their own backyard."

The THUD Appropriations bill was approved in Senator Murray's Committee on Tuesday and is expected to be approved by the full Appropriations Committee today. It will then move to the Senate floor.

The following projects were included in the bill in the Southwest Washington region:

Downtown Waterfront Redevelopment Access Project, City of Vancouver: $3,000,000

This project will construct road and rail system improvements to create two new undercrossings through the BNSF rail berm, and reconnect Vancouver to the Columbia River. These underpasses will allow the City of Vancouver to expand its downtown to the waterfront, which is part of the City’s plan to construct new jobs, housing, retail, and public space along the waterfront, adding as many as 2,500 new permanent jobs and 1 million square feet of professional office space.

"I'm proud to support Vancouver's bold plan to revitalize their urban waterfront," said Senator Murray. "As we continue to face an economic slowdown, it is important that we make investments in projects that will boost our economy and get residents working again."

"At 1.5 billion, this is the single largest redevelopment project in the history of SW Washington," said Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard. "We greatly appreciate Senator Murray recognizing the unprecedented opportunity this project represents, and with this timely help we can get under construction early next year."

West Freight Access Project, Port of Vancouver: $1,000,000

The Port of Vancouver, USA, is a significant public seaport that annually handles over 550 ocean-going vessels, as well as river barges. The West Vancouver Freight Access Project is a critical infrastructure investment to help the Port attract new business.  It resolves critical rail service issues in the waterfront area, and addresses necessary new freight rail access to and from the rail mainline in the Port, increases and improves rail capacity and efficiency within the port, and provides considerable capacity and velocity improvements to a national system chokepoint at the Vancouver Rail Wye.

“Completion of the West Vancouver Freight Access Project is critical to the future economic growth of the South West Washington region. Thousands of jobs and substantial economic benefits are associated with this project,” said Larry Paulson, Executive Director of the Port of Vancouver, USA. “Again, Senator Murray has shown she understands the needs of our state and this region and has helped secure the funding required to get this important freight mobility and economic development project completed.”

North Parkway Safety Improvement Project, City of Battle Ground: $500,000

The City of Battle Ground recognizes North Parkway Avenue, which links neighborhoods to schools and the downtown core areas, as a roadway badly in need of repair. School children are most at risk on this roadway because they are often walking along the road during low light conditions. This project will install lighting, widen the roadway, and provide two through lanes, a two-way left turn lane, curbs, gutters, sidewalks and bike lanes on each side.

“We are so grateful to Senator Murray for securing funds for the North Parkway Project," said Battle Ground Mayor Michael Ciraulo. "This critical transportation and safety project will improve access to downtown Battle Ground and provide school children with sidewalks and other improvements to ensure a safe route to school.  Senator Murray’s help in securing federal funds for this project will directly benefit our community for years to come.” 

Twin Transit Vehicle Replacement, Lewis County: $410,000

This funding will enable Twin Transit to purchase one 30’ low floor bus and two 24’ minibuses to replace aged vehicles. These new vehicles will enable Twin Transit to continue providing critical regional rural bus services to meet rural and intercity mobility needs, including those of the elderly and disabled, and people needing access to basic services and job centers. 

“The Twin Transit 2009 bus replacement project will ensure the delivery of safe and reliable transit services to Centralia and Chehalis, Washington," said Ernie Graichen, Twin Transit General Manager. "Most importantly, the replacement buses will serve special needs passengers whose ridership has doubled in three (3) years.”

Pacific Transit Vehicle Replacement, Pacific County: $480,000

This funding will enable Pacific Transit to purchase two 30’ buses to replace vehicles that are 16 years old. These new vehicles will allow Pacific Transit to continue providing critical regional rural bus services to meet rural and intercity mobility needs, including those of the elderly and disabled, and people needing access to basic services and job centers.

“Without the service provided by Pacific Transit, residents of Pacific County who are dependent on public transit would be isolated from the rest of the country,” said Tim Russ, Pacific Transit Director.

Fire and Oil Spill Response Communications Project, Maritime Fire and Safety Administration: $1,600,000

This funding will go towards fire and oil spill response communications infrastructure replacement and modernization that will maintain the safety, mobility and efficiency of the lower Columbia/Willamette River transportation system. These modernizations will enhance the preparedness of local fire agencies and environmental response teams in mitigating and responding to vessel fire and spill incidents.

"With Senator Murray’s help, the Maritime Fire and Safety Association will be able to complete its fire and oil spill response communications system upgrade," said Liz Wainwright, Executive Director of the Maritime Fire & Safety Association.

Clark County Food Bank, Vancouver: $750,000

This funding would go towards the construction of a new nonprofit 22,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution center for the Clark County Food Bank.  The new facility will provide for bulk storage and shipping, receiving, box storage, drive-in freezers and coolers, repack areas, administrative offices, meeting space/ classroom to allow expanded programs in nutrition education and advocacy, receiving and distribution docks, and future expansion capability.

“The completion of this facility is critically important as the Clark County Food Bank pursues its mission:  To alleviate hunger and its root causes throughout Clark County, Washington," said Jim Youde, CCFB Board Vice President.