News Releases

North Central Washington: Murray Adds Over $1 Million for Transportation and Community Development Priorities in North Central Washington

Jul 12 2007

$300,000 for Icicle Station in Leavenworth, projects funded in Tonasket and Chelan County

(Washington, D.C) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included $1 million in funding for transportation and community development projects in north central Washington in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill. Senator Murray is the Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee. 

Among the projects funded in the bill is the Icicle Station Project in Leavenworth.  The City of Leavenworth has reached an agreement with Amtrak and Burlington Northern Santa Fe to provide passenger rail to Leavenworth along the Empire Builder route.  Upon completion, Icicle Station will provide service to Leavenworth from all destinations between Seattle and Chicago, greatly enhancing the city's economic and tourism base.  

The funding Senator Murray included in the THUD bill for Icicle Station will complete construction of the station platform and improve multimodal access to the facility to provide a seamless transition from local transportation options to the new Amtrak service.

"I am pleased to have included this funding for Icicle Station," Murray stated.  "This project will provide a direct positive economic impact to Leavenworth and Chelan county, attracting visitors from the Puget Sound and across the Empire Builder line.  The City of Leavenworth has built a great base of support for this project, and I am proud to provide assistance from the federal level."

Rob Eaton, City Councilmember from Leavenworth applauded Murray's effort:

"The City of Leavenworth is extremely grateful for the work of Senator Murray on this important transportation project for our community, and we are very excited at being one step closer to daily Amtrak service.  The support from Senator Murray as a partner  with local and regional stakeholders has certainly made this project a reality, and we are again grateful for all of her efforts on this important community goal."

Other important projects funded by Senator Murray in north central Washington include:

Tonasket Community Center Building Renovation: $200,000

The Tonasket Community Center is in dire need of renovations to make the building a safe gathering place for the city of Tonasket.  This funding will help the Community Center maintain and expand its current services, including serving as an art and education center, a social gathering place, and an arena for economic development through the community certified kitchen.  This funding will complete basic renovations, such as roof repairs, insulation for the walls and ceiling, and electrical system upgrades to bring the building into compliance with building codes.

Link Transit Coach Replacement Project:  $550,000

This project will replace and upgrade Link Transit's regional commuter transit service fleet.  Link Transit will replace 8 urban transit coaches that have far exceeded their useful life.  The new coaches will be 40 feet long suburban commuter coaches, have reduced emissions and increased accessibility for riders with disabilities.  The vehicles will be utilized on Link Transit's two long distance commuter routes that serve the communities of Leavenworth, Chelan, Cashmere, Dryden, Peshastin, Manson, Entiat, Orondo and Chelan Falls.  These routes are up to 70 miles in length and currently have standing room only on a daily basis.  The additional capacity provided by the new fleet will allow service to continue to grow and meet the needs of rural communities in north central Washington.  The estimated cost per vehicle is $367,188.  

From 2004-2006, Senator Murray secured $2.1 million for Link Transit's multi-phase coach replacement project.  This additional $550,000 will bring the total federal investment secured by Senator Murray to $2.65 million over the past 5 years. 

The THUD Appropriations bill passed the full Appropriations Committee today and will move on to the Senate floor for consideration.