Senator Murray Delivers Millions for Olympic Peninsula Transportation Projects

Jul 10 2008

As Chairman of critical Senate Committee, Senator Murray includes funding for roads, buses, and safety improvements in Olympic Peninsula region

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included over $7 million for Olympic Peninsula transportation projects in the Fiscal Year 2009 Senate Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill. As Chairman of the THUD Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murray uses her position to invest in community-backed Washington state projects that may not otherwise receive federal support.

"Like so many regions in our state, the Olympic Peninsula has real transportation infrastructure needs that must be addressed," said Senator Murray. "This bill makes targeted investments in projects that will promote job growth, make the region safer, reduce traffic, and improve the overall quality of life. With gas prices at record-highs, local governments strapped for cash, and economic growth being threatened, communities need a boost from the federal government. I'm proud to work to return Olympic Peninsula families' federal tax dollars to projects in their own backyard."

The THUD Appropriations bill was approved in Senator Murray's THUD Committee on Tuesday and is expected to be approved by the full Appropriations Committee today. It will then move to the Senate floor.

The following projects were included in the bill in the Olympic Peninsula region:

Port Industrial Road Improvement Project, Port of Grays Harbor: $4,000,000

This infrastructure investment is a critical component to enhancing the Port’s ability to attract new business.  Specifically, it will replace roadway, improve traffic flow, relieve congestion, increase roadway capacity and freight movement and increase vehicle and pedestrian safety along the entire corridor.  Construction of two-way left turn lanes and turn pockets will remove turning vehicles from through lanes, improving traffic flow. In addition, new sidewalks would allow for safe pedestrian traffic in the area as employers are finding more and more workers walking and bicycling to work due to rising gas costs.

“Providing a safe, efficient freight corridor for the movement of goods and people is the top priority of the Port of Grays Harbor and the more than 55 companies we serve within this corridor,” said Port of Grays Harbor Commission President Stan Pinnick.

Squaxin Island Access Improvement Project, Squaxin Island Tribe: $1,000,000

The Arcadia Boat Ramp is one of the most heavily used commercial and recreational launching sites in South Puget Sound. The proposed project will include design and replacement of the Arcadia Boat Ramp and other critical improvements to the facility essential to for the economic growth or the Tribe and Mason County.  

“The Arcadia Boat Ramp project has been a goal of the Squaxin Island Tribe for many years," said   Raymond Peters, Executive Director of the Squaxin Island Tribe. "This facility is the primary launching for Tribal fishermen, shellfish harvesters and Commercial Growers such as Taylor Shellfish who rely on these fishing and shellfish industries as their sole source of income.  This project will provide improved accessed to tribal and shellfish areas.”

Skokomish Tribe Reservation Road Improvements, Skokomish Tribe: $1,000,000

This project includes installation of sidewalks, pathways, and lighting aimed at enhancing safety for pedestrians between residences and the State Park, across US 101, and for school children between their homes and schools.  Reservation Road is a school bus route and these road improvements will improve safety and reduce the likelihood of accidents.

U.S. 101 Safety Improvements at Deer Park, Clallam County: $980,000

The US 101 at Deer Park Overpass Project seeks to comprehensively address all major traffic safety issues related to this US 101 intersection area that produced four fatalities in five years by construction of a two way vehicle and pedestrian overpass. The project will help fund a US 101 overpass at Deer Park that will improve a primary access road to Olympic National Park and eliminate all of the dangerous left turn movements.

“Construction of the US 101 Overpass at Deer Park will greatly reduce the chance for injury accidents in the Deer Park corridor where County residents have suffered fatality accidents in the past," said Ross Tyler, Clallam County Engineer. "The project will also facilitate job growth as access to commercial areas on both sides of US 101 will be enhanced.”

Clallam Transit Vehicle Replacement, Clallam County: $302,000

This funding will enable the purchase of one 35’ low-floor bus to replace an aged vehicle. This new vehicle will enable Clallam Transit to continue providing critical regional rural bus services to meet rural and intercity mobility needs, including those of the elderly and disabled, and people needing access to basic services and job centers.

Kitsap Transit Rich-Passage Wake Impact Study, Kitsap County: $2,000,000
The project is part of a multi-year wake-research effort, focused on one of the most wake-sensitive parts of Puget Sound, the gap between the South Kitsap mainland and Bainbridge Island known as Rich Passage. The project’s ultimate goal is address the environmental concerns and challenges related to passenger-only fast ferry service through Rich Passage. Eventually, these research efforts will culminate into a viable high speed passenger-only fast ferry option that will link Bremerton and downtown Seattle in approximately 30 minutes.




Kitsap Mental Health Services Facility Construction Project, Bremerton: $400,000
The proposed Residential and Stabilization Facility will provide 16 residential and short-term stabilization beds for adults age 18 and over with severe or acute mental illness.  The majority of beds will provide safe hospital, jail, and other diversions for clients who need significant structure and monitoring without requiring the intensive supervision of locked inpatient psychiatric units. Up to five of the beds will be for clients with long-term residential needs.