News Releases

Multi-million dollar award will fund creation of the Regional Beltway Connector to link I-82 and U.S. Route 97

Grant awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation's INFRA Grants program following strong support from Senator Murray and Representative Newhouse

The Regional Beltway Connector will increase safety and reduce congestion in Yakima Valley 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA, 4th) announced a major federal grant award today to enable to construction of the Regional Beltway Connector in the city of Union Gap. The grant, totaling more than $6.6 million, and awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grants program, will help create a streamlined route for trucks and freight to use through the Yakima Valley instead of Union Gap’s commercial and school zones. The Beltway Connector will help to alleviate traffic congestion and improve safety in Union Gap, as well as stimulate economic opportunity in the area by increasing access to over 400 acres of undeveloped and vacant property zoned for commercial and industrial use, improving access to existing industrial and transportation hubs.

“I am so glad to see that the Department of Transportation made the right decision in awarding this vital grant to construct Union Gap’s Regional Beltway Connector,” Senator Murray said. “This project will help to make the area safer and more economically vibrant, while increasing the flow of goods throughout the region and easing transportation for Yakima Valley commuters. I will keep fighting to strengthen federal investments in key Washington state priorities that help to grow our economy and build our infrastructure.

“The Department of Transportation’s grant announcement is great news for Union Gap and the Yakima Valley. Union Gap’s Regional Beltway Connector Project will not only improve freight access throughout the Yakima Valley, but it will create an opportunity for 400 acres of vacant industrial and commercial land to be developed – spurring economic growth and creating jobs in the upper Yakima Valley,” said Representative Newhouse.

Both Senator Murray, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Representative Newhouse are ardent promoters of the region’s transportation efforts and were instrumental in securing the grant, with both writing letters to DOT Secretary Elaine Chao urging the Department to award the grant to Union Gap to aid in the city’s transportation expansion efforts