Murray Secures Millions in New Funding for Safer, More Efficient Transportation on Tribal Lands

Apr 16 2004

Senator Wins Fight to Fund Road Widening, Sidewalk Construction, Better Signage and Street Lights, and Improved Access

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced today that part of the funding she has secured for tribal road improvements is being distributed this week to two tribes in Washington State. More than $2 million is being released for the Skokomish Tribe and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.

The rest of the funding Murray secured for these two projects ($1.5 million) will be released when Congress reauthorizes the Federal Transportation Act.

Murray is the highest-ranking Democrat on the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, and she used her position to secure this tribal funding.

"I am very proud to have brought these important transportation improvements to the Skokomish Tribe and the Elwha Klallam Tribe," Murray said. "At a time when our entire state is in a transportation crisis, it is crucial that we get the resources we need. This funding will help create jobs and allow critical transportation improvements for our tribal people, and for the entire state."

Murray secured the funding in the FY2004 Omnibus Appropriations Act. These tribal funds are part of the $245 million Murray secured for Washington State’s roads, buses, airports, ferries and transit facilities.

Details of the funding are as follows:

Skokomish Tribe Roadway Improvements
Released This Week: $735,363
Awaiting Federal Transportation Act Reauthorization: $564,637
This project will help the Skokomish Tribe complete improvements such as road widening, sidewalk construction and improved signs and streetlights.

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe – Access Road
Released This Week: $1,301,027
Awaiting Federal Transportation Act Reauthorization: $998,973
This project will help construct an all-weather primary access road connection from the Lower Elwha Klallam reservation to the Clallam County road system adjacent to the flood plain.

The federal Department of Transportation is still processing the transportation funding Murray secured for another tribal project -- $120,000 for the Colville Confederated Tribes to conduct the Inchelium/Gifford Bridge Feasibility Study. That funding will be released as soon as the department completes its processing.