Larsen Secures $9.5 Million for Blaine’s Bell Road Project
Blaine, WA, June 28, 2023
The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded a $9.5 million grant to the City of Blaine to improve safety and accessibility and reduce congestion at the Bell Road (State Route 548)-BNSF at-grade rail crossing.
BLAINE, WA - Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded a $9.5 million grant to the City of Blaine to improve safety and accessibility and reduce congestion at the Bell Road (State Route 548)-BNSF at-grade rail crossing.
DOT awarded the funding through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Discretionary Grant Program, which enables communities of all sizes to carry out road, rail, transit and other surface transportation projects with significant local or regional impact.
Earlier this month, Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) sent a letter to DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg in support of the City’s RAISE grant application.
“Thanks to the City’s resilience and investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Blaine can begin to resolve issues at the Bell Road at-grade crossing that I heard about more than 20 years ago when I was a freshman member of Congress,” said Larsen, the lead Democrat on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. “I am excited this critical project is advancing to improve safety and accessibility, reduce congestion, create more jobs and keep the regional economy moving.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law authorized $7.5 billion over five years for the existing RAISE Discretionary Program, formerly known as TIGER and BUILD grants – a 50 percent increase in funding. This year, DOT awarded $2.26 billion in RAISE grants to 162 projects across the country, including $129 million to eight projects in Washington state – the most RAISE grant funding the state has ever been awarded. This year, DOT received $15 billion in requests for the $2.26 billion available. For a full list of 2023 RAISE grant awards, click here.
Bell Road Project Details
Blaine’s Bell Road-BNSF Railway Grade Separation Project will replace the existing Bell Road (State Route 548)-BNSF at-grade crossing with a new roadway and railway overpass. The replacement will be a grade-separated facility that integrates I-5 ramp realignment, including replacement of the Dakota Creek Bridge, construction of a dedicated multiuse path parallel to Bell Road, as well as related transit, flooding, and aquatic habitat improvements within the project boundaries.
The City of Blaine plans to use the RAISE grant funds to begin work on the preliminary engineering and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance phases of the project, in addition to right-of-way acquisition required for replacement of the at-grade intersection with a grade-separated facility.
Larsen Has Secured $59.5 Million in RAISE Grants for WA-02 Since 2022
Larsen has secured three RAISE grants totaling $59.5 million for local communities since the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was signed. In addition to the Bell Road grant, Larsen has helped deliver:
· $25 million for Lynnwood’s Poplar Way Bridge – In August, DOT awarded the City of Lynnwood a $25 million RAISE grant to construct a new six-lane, multimodal bridge over I-5 in Lynnwood, between the intersections of 196th Street SW (State Route 524)/Poplar Way and 33rd Avenue W/Alderwood Mall Boulevard.
· $25 million for Whatcom County’s Lummi Island Ferry – In August, DOT awarded Whatcom County a $25 million RAISE grant to replace the 60-year-old Lummi Island ferry with an electric-battery hybrid ferry and build related infrastructure.