News Releases

Murray Secures Funding for Central Washington Transportation Priorities in Senate Appropriations Bill

Sep 04 2003

Funding will help address transportation challenges in Central Washington

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Patty Murray, ranking member of the Senate Transportation, Treasury, and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, has secured millions of dollars in federal funding for Central Washington’s transportation priorities. The funding will address critical infrastructure needs throughout the region including roads, buses, trails and transit facilities.

The full Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill earlier today. The funding, which Murray earmarked specifically for Central Washington, is in addition to the formula funding the state receives annually from the federal government. In 2004, the state will get $542,767,926 in Federal Highway Administration grant funding and $101,731,719 in Federal Transit Administration grant funding. “I am proud to have helped secure these critical federal dollars for transportation projects throughout Central Washington. By investing in our transportation infrastructure, we are creating good-paying construction jobs today and paving the way for future economic growth,” Senator Murray said. “Our region is facing tough times and these dollars will help improve our quality of life and increase economic prosperity.”


Yakima Grade Separations ($1 million) - The City of Yakima has seen a dramatic increase in emergency vehicle response time and increasing general traffic congestion in the downtown area since the reopening of Stampede Pass. This funding will complete the grade separations being constructed on the rail line. Senator Murray secured $8.225 million in federal funding for this project for this project in previous appropriations.

US 12 Widening, Wallula Junction to Walla Walla ($3 million) - This project will provide funding to begin widening US 12 from Wallula Junction to Walla Walla to four lanes. Senator Murray secured $4.4 million to four-lane US 12 from Burbank to Wallula Junction, which, along with significant state and local resources, will fully fund the construction of this section.

Intermodal Transload Facility, Quincy, WA ($2 million) - The project will provide a rail loop to agricultural facilities and the BNSF mainline in Grant County. This loop is vital to maintaining access for agriculture businesses to their various markets.

I-182, Queensgate to SR 240 (Richland) ($2 million) - This project will provide an additional lane on I-182 in each direction from the Queensgate Interchange to Thayer Drive/SR 240 Interchange. There is a high exchange of trips between these two interchanges. The additional lanes will allow the local traffic to move safely from interchange to interchange, eliminating the need for this slow moving traffic to merge with the high-speed mainline traffic traveling at 70-miles per hour. Senator Murray secured $7.5 million in improvements to this Interstate in previous appropriations.

Port of Pasco, Ainsworth Avenue Realignment and Sacagawea Heritage Trail Project ($3 million) - This project will help realign and widen Ainsworth Avenue through the Big Pasco Industrial Center (BPIC). This arterial provides the main vehicular access to Sacagawea State Park, at the confluence of the Columbia and Snake Rivers, which sits on federal land leased from the U.S. Corps of Engineers. The new route will divert through-traffic out from between large industrial warehouses where the road is frequently blocked by truck staging and railcar operations. The second feature of this project includes a two mile paved pedestrian trail to provide access into Sacagawea State Park. The trail through the Port will provide an opportunity to safely view industrial activity and allow outdoor enthusiasts an opportunity to enjoy the unique habitat of the region.

WA Small Bus System Program of Projects Valley (Walla Walla) ($708,000) - This group of projects helps provide bus replacement and needed equipment to several smaller transit agencies in the state of Washington. Senator Murray secured $8.89 million for this statewide group of Small Bus System of Projects in previous appropriations.

Link Transit (Wenatchee) ($800,000) - This project will help Link Transit modernize its vehicle fleet with efficient, low-floor buses that better accommodate the elderly and disabled.

Link Transit JARC ($500,000) - This program recognizes the regional benefit and economic stimulus created by improving access to jobs for low-income individuals. This project will help fund Wenatchee’s efforts in this area.

Yakima, TRACON ($72,200) – This project will provide funding to replace the transformer and breaker panel at the air traffic control tower.