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(Vancouver, WA) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) joined local leaders to announce $2.3 million she secured for the Port of Vancouver’s Freight Access project. The project will help the Port handle an expected surge in cargo, will reduce traffic congestion in downtown Vancouver and neighboring communities, and will support new jobs and economic development at the Port. Senator Murray’s funding will help complete an environmental impact statement. Last year, Senator Murray secured $1 million for the project.



"This investment is great news for the region’s economy, for local businesses, for the port, and for our state," Murray said. "For Southwest Washington, it means we’re going to grow the region’s economy. For working families, it means more jobs here at the port and more local businesses hiring workers. For our producers and importers, it means we’ll have more capacity at the Port to trade with the world. For local residents, it means you’ll have fewer trucks on residential streets, less traffic congestion and a better quality of life. And for our state, it means we are moving forward – planning for the future and making sure we benefit from it."

Photo | Details from the Port

Senator Murray's remarks follow:

Today is a great day for the people, the economy, and the future of Vancouver. I’m thrilled to be here to celebrate with you and to announce some critical federal funding I was able to secure for transportation improvements that will help shape the region well into the future.



We all know our ports and transportation infrastructure are the economic engines moving people and goods across our state and laying the foundation for continued economic growth. And thanks to all of you, we’re making that engine even stronger and more powerful here in Vancouver.



All of us know how important trade and our ability to move goods quickly and efficiently through our ports is to the economy. That's why I’ve worked so hard at the federal level to make critical investments in our waterways, our highways, our railways and our ports -- especially along the Columbia River.



This past summer I joined many of you in celebrating the start of dredging on the Columbia River channel deepening project and continuing repairs to the Jetties at the mouth of the Columbia River to protect that investment. I know that a deeper channel will support greater economic growth along the river and throughout the state. And that’s especially true for the Port of Vancouver. But in order to sustain that growth we must make other investments in our transportation infrastructure to address increased traffic and improve access to the port.



That’s why I’m proud to announce that I was able to secure $2.3 million to support the Port of Vancouver’s efforts to reduce congestion, increase capacity, and improve freight mobility. As the highest ranking Democrat on the committee that funds the Department of Transportation, I was able to use my position to make the federal government a partner in this important project.



This investment is great news for the region’s economy, for local businesses, for the port, and for our state. For Southwest Washington, it means we’re going to grow the region’s economy. For working families, it means more jobs here at the port and more local businesses hiring workers. For our producers and importers, it means we’ll have more capacity at the Port to trade with the world. For local residents, it means you’ll have fewer trucks on residential streets, less traffic congestion and a better quality of life. And for our state, it means we are moving forward – planning for the future and making sure we benefit from it.



This day has been a long time in the making for many of you and your success reflects your commitment to building a better future for the entire community. I applaud your work and your foresight.



I talk to people all over our state who have ideas about how to help their communities and sometimes they don’t know how to move forward. I always tell them to do exactly what you have done here – develop a vision, build a broad coalition and don’t stop until you make it happen.



I'm so excited about the positive impact this funding and this project will have on the future of Vancouver. The investment we’re making today to improve transportation infrastructure lays the foundation for future economic growth.



Everyone here played a role in helping us reach this point – and I just want to say my special thanks to Mayor Pollard and the City of Vancouver, the Port Commissioners and staff, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, and local business leaders. All of you have worked so hard, and I thank you for that.



We know that when we invest in our transportation infrastructure, we reduce congestion, improve safety, and build stronger communities. Today, we’re ensuring that the port and city will be ready for the future and we're confirming that we're willing to make the critical investments that will serve this community for decades to come.



So, I’m proud to be here today to support this important project. Thank you for your work and dedication, and I look forward to working with you to make this project a success well into the future.