News Releases

Eastern Washington Transportation and Community Priorities Included in Final Spending Bill

Dec 09 2009

Funds will create jobs, support U.S. 195 safety improvements, Arc of Spokane renovation

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that funding she secured to boost transportation and economic development project throughout Eastern Washington has been included in the final version of the Fiscal Year 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act.  The funding will help improve road safety and regional transit, and will support local construction jobs and community services.  The final version of the spending bill came out of a conference committee between the Senate and the House and is expected to pass both bodies shortly before being sent to the President for his signature.

As Chair of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murray has fought to secure federal support for local Washington state projects that create jobs and make smart investments in long-term growth. 

U.S. 195 Safety Improvements - Cheney-Spokane Road Interchange, Spokane County: $1,948,000
This funding will provide for the construction of an interchange and improvements to arterial streets on US Highway 195 in Spokane, WA.

This project will improve local traffic flow significantly, increase safety, accommodate public transit expansion and expand capacity for economic and housing growth in Latah Valley in Spokane.

“These funds will help make the dangerous Cheney-Spokane Road Interchange safer for our commuters and families,” said Senator Patty Murray. “This investment will create jobs in the region and will help lay down the foundation for long-term economic growth.”

Arc of Spokane Facility Improvement Project, Spokane: $974,000
This funding will provide for capital costs and equipment acquisition for the renovation of the Arc of Spokane's Indiana building.

The Arc of Spokane provides support services to people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, and this space renovation will improve access to these services, including enhancing wheelchair access throughout the building.

“The Arc of Spokane provides critical services to Spokane families who need them most,” said Senator Patty Murray. “This investment will create local construction jobs and will help ensure that the Arc of Spokane can continue providing excellent service to local families.”

“This project will make the Arc of Spokane more accessible to our constituents and the public, more effective in serving them and more efficient in our use of scarce resources,” said Greg Falk, Arc of Spokane Executive Director.

The following additional Eastern Washington projects were included in the bill:

Spokane Transit Diesel-Electric Hybrid Bus Acquisition, Spokane County: $1,266,000
This funding will provide for the purchase of ten 40-foot diesel-electric hybrid buses as part of Spokane Transit's vehicle replacement process.

The acquisition of these diesel-electric hybrid buses will replace aging vehicles that have outlasted their recommended service life and allow Spokane Transit to use the savings from fuel and maintenance costs to increase the efficiency of service to commuters in the greater Spokane region.

“These new diesel-electric hybrid buses will allow Spokane Transit Authority to carry out its mission of safely and efficiently moving citizens in our community. The hybrid buses will reduce fuel consumption, produce less carbon dioxide than traditional diesel buses, and promote the region’s focus on sustainability and environmental quality,” said Susan Meyer, CEO of Spokane Transit.

Hamilton Street Overpass Safety Project, Spokane: $974,000
This funding will provide for the construction of a pedestrian bridge over Hamilton Street in Spokane, providing safe pedestrian and bicycle access to Gonzaga University's two campuses and the Logan neighborhood.

Hamilton Street is one of the most heavily traversed north-south corridors in Spokane, and this project will alleviate congestion, increase the safety of pedestrians, and provide opportunities for further economic development on the east side of the street, which complements the University's campus expansion.

“I am delighted that Congress has allocated funding for the Hamilton Street pedestrian bridge in the University District. We have long been concerned about the safety of our students who take their lives into their hands walking between our west and east campuses. The bridge will not only resolve these safety issues, but will also encourage economic development along both sides of Hamilton. We thank Senator Murray for her support for this project and for her hard work to secure this critical funding,” said Father Robert J. Spitzer, President, Gonzaga University

East Central Community Center Project, Spokane: $340,900
This funding will provide for the final design and construction of an additional 2,700 square feet of space for community programs for Spokane's East Central Community Organization.

This expanded facility is located in a highly economically distressed region of Spokane and, once complete, will provide primary medical care for children, families and the elderly and expand programs that promote economic and social self-sufficiency.

“The need for expanded space is tremendous.  For children, families and the elderly, the project will improve and enhance the health and well-being of the community,” said Diane Jackson, Executive Director of the East Central Community Center.

Fish Lake Trail Completion, Spokane: $1,948,000
This funding will provide for the completion of Fish Lake Trail, providing non-stop trail access between the cities of Spokane and Cheney.

The completion of this heavily used regional trail will give residents extensive bicycle and pedestrian access in the area, including Eastern Washington University and the employment and commercial resources of Spokane.

“The completion of Fish Lake Trail will connect the cities of Spokane and Cheney, enhance recreational opportunities and attractions for citizens and visitors, and will connect the 37-mile Centennial Trail with the Columbia Plateau Trail,” said Spokane Mayor Mary Verner

Kalispel Tribe Road Development from Sprague Avenue to US 2, Kalispel Tribe: $1,266,200
This funding will provide for the design and construction of a road extending from Spokane County into Kalispel Tribe lands designated for non-gaming economic development.

This project would provide for approximately 55 family wage jobs during construction and once complete, this transportation infrastructure will support significant economic development, including retail services, commercial enterprises, service industries, educational facilities and light industry.

“I would like to thank Senator Murray and her staff for aiding the Kalispel Tribe in this endeavor. The Kalispel Tribe and its businesses support approximately 1,600 living-wage jobs, purchase over $1.1 million dollars each month in local or locally-affiliated goods and services, and have contributed over $3 million dollars to our local community. The development of this property is essential to the economic diversity of the Kalispel Tribe and will significantly enhance the local economies located within the Greater Spokane Area including Spokane county, the City of Spokane, and the City of Airway Heights,” said Chairman Glen Nenema

Freight Policy Transportation Institute, Pullman: $750,000
This funding will provide for the continued development of the Freight Policy Transportation Institute at Washington State University in Pullman, WA.

This research effort will offer economic policy analysis and coordinate different sources of information to aid policy makers when making decisions regarding the impact and future of freight transport in Washington State.

U.S. 395 North Spokane Corridor, Spokane: $400,000
This funding will provide for the design, right-of-way acquisition and initial construction of a highway corridor connection through metropolitan Spokane to Interstate 90.

This project will reduce local congestion, increase freight mobility to accommodate the 7.2 million tons of freight moving through the corridor, provide for non-motorized safety improvements with dedicated pedestrian paths and transit park-and-ride centers, and enhance economic development to adjacent business and residential districts.

U.S. Highway 12, Burbank to Walla Walla, Phase 7, Walla Walla: $400,000
This funding will provide for the construction of two additional lanes along US Highway 12 between Burbank and Walla Walla, WA.

The expansion of US 12 from a two to four lane highway will significantly increase vehicle safety and expand freight mobility, enhancing the capacity of existing businesses and encouraging further economic development in the region.