(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and U.S. Representative Norm Dicks today declared victory in their efforts to secure critical federal funding for the 6th Legislative District’s transportation priorities. The Senators secured $22.85 million for the region in legislation reauthorizing surface transportation spending through 2009.

SAFETEA-LU, which the House will pass tonight and is expected to clear the Senate tomorrow, sets the funding levels for highways, ferries, and transit programs through 2009.

“I am proud to have partnered with Rep. Dicks and Sen. Cantwell to stand up for the transportation needs of the 6th Congressional District,” Senator Murray said. “In a tough budget year, under tough conditions, we stood together to make the investments that will create jobs, improve safety and lay the foundation for our region’s future economic growth.”

"All of these transportation improvements will help us to ease congestion and improve the quality of life in the Puget Sound area. The Bremerton Tunnel, in particular, will re-route inbound traffic from Washington State ferries underneath Bremerton’s busiest downtown street. It will open up the central artery of our downtown tract, helping to create a more pedestrian-friendly area that will stimulate retail as well as residential development," Congressman Dicks said.

"We need to think of these federal funds as an investment. These are well spent dollars that will create jobs, improve our quality of life, and literally keep our economy moving,” Senator Cantwell said. "I'm proud of the way the delegation has worked together in these tight financial times to make sure Washington gets the improvements our communities need."

6th Congressional District Projects:

  • City of University Place Downtown Revitalization Project - $2.8 million The city is developing a mixed-use town center with retail, office, and housing adjacent to City Hall and the Public Safety Building. The funding will be used to improve streetscapes and develop the project’s roadways.

  • City of University Place Intermodal Transit Facility - $3.25 million: This project will construct a primary transit structure on Bridgeport Way, a transit, motor vehicle, and bicycle corridor of regional significance connecting SR-16 to I-5. It is served by Pierce Transit Route 2 connecting University Place to downtown Tacoma.
  • City of Bremerton, Ferry Exit Tunnel - $16.8 million: Funding would be used for a tunnel exit for vehicles off-loading from ferries at the Bremerton Terminal. This project would help avoid excessive traffic on the streets of Bremerton when ferry traffic is off loading.