Patty in the News

Sen. Patty Murray announced Wednesday she has earmarked $3 million toward a new South Park Bridge.

The 79-year-old drawspan declined for years and was finally closed to traffic last month. It missed the cut during a round of federal stimulus grants last winter. Asked about the bridge at a Mercer Street funding celebration in February, she said leaders here should "get your funding together," if they hope win federal grants at South Park. Since then, local and state governments have proposed $95 million toward the $131 million estimated cost. Murray is running for re-election this fall.

Besides the new $3 million in next year's national transportation reauthorization bill, Murray will support the South Park Bridge in competition for federal grants under the "TIGER II" stimulus program she created, her staff said.

Republican Dino Rossi, one of her challengers for the Senate seat, generally opposes earmarks, believing that public-works projects should be part of the normal budget process, a campaign spokeswoman said.

- Seattle Times