Patty in the News

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Funds to continue work on the next phase of widening U.S. Highway 12 have been included in a Senate appropriations bill.

In a release, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said $1 million for the project have been included in the 2011 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development appropriations bill.

The bill passed through the THUD Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday and will now move to the full Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.

If approved, the money will be used to support right-of-way acquisition for the next phase of the project, phase 7a, to widen the highway. The latest phase from the west edge of Walla Walla to the vicinity of Frenchtown, was opened to traffic this month.

In the release, Paul Schneidmiller, Port of Walla Walla commission president, said Murray has been an effective advocate "for a project that is of such critical regional and statewide importance."

"The four-laning of U.S. Highway 12 is a clear Walla Walla Valley regional priority and we can't thank Sen. Murray enough for her tireless support of this crucial safety project," he said.

- Walla Walla Union-Bulletin