Press Releases

Larsen Secures Millions for Northwest Washington Roads and Transit

Washington, DC, November 13, 2007

{The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a House-Senate agreement on transportation funding which includes millions of dollars for Northwest Washington secured by U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), including resources to make safety improvements to U.S. Highway 2, purchase new buses for Skagit Transit and construct a Marine Trades Center as part of the Port of Bellingham’s Waterfront Redevelopment Project. The conference report on Transportation-HUD Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2008 (H.R. 3074) passed the House today by a vote of 270 to 147. To become law, these appropriations must either be signed by the President or pass both Houses of Congress by veto-proof majorities.

 “This legislation will strengthen our Northwest Washington transportation system and help keep it safe and strong for the 21st century,” said Larsen. “Real progress is being made at the state and local level to improve the safety of Highway 2, and Senator Murray and I will keep fighting to support local efforts with this critical funding,” said Larsen.

I appreciate Senator Murray’s leadership in the Senate as a transportation champion for Washington state. Working together at the local, state and federal level, we can strengthen our transportation infrastructure to protect lives and livelihoods in Northwest Washington,” Larsen concluded.

“From improving the quality of life of seniors in Everett to helping to fix a dangerous stretch of Highway 2, this bill makes the right investments in Washington state’s safety and infrastructure,” Senator Murray said.  “Rep. Larsen has been a great partner in this effort, and I look forward to standing with him against the President’s threatened veto.”

Larsen, who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, helped secure the following projects for Northwest Washington:

$650,000 for U.S. Highway 2 Safety Improvements:
U.S. Highway 2 between Snohomish and Skykomish, Washington is a dangerous stretch of highway where there have been 43 fatal accidents since 1999.  Federal funding will enable the construction of safety improvement projects identified in the U.S. 2 Route Development Plan (RDP).  These improvements will help to reduce fatal and injurious crashes, improve traveler and pedestrian safety, and reduce congestion. 

$600,000 for the Everett Senior Activity Center:
The House-Senate agreement includes $600,000 for the Everett Senior Activity Center, an increase over the $150,000 passed by the House this summer. The Senior Activity Center in Everett, Washington provides opportunities for continued learning, social interaction, meals, and medical services for people over 55 years of age. In recent years, the Everett Senior Activity Center has become more popular and currently serves an average of 5,100 seniors a month. This funding would be used to build an elevator to make the facility more accessible and to expand the multipurpose room to accommodate more seniors.

$1.05 million for an Alternate Freight Route for Granite Falls:
Increasing traffic volumes and safety issues in the downtown core of Granite Falls, Washington have prompted the City and Snohomish County to propose an alternate route for truck traffic. Congestion, specifically caused by freight trucks with trailers, adversely impacts the city’s streets, particularly when school buses and general rush hour traffic compete with log and quarry truck access. An Alternate Freight Route will help increase safety for motorists, reduce air and noise pollution caused by trucks and aid in the economic redevelopment of downtown Granite Falls. It will also improve access and reduce travel times for trucks transporting rock and gravel from seven quarries in the area.

$1 Million for Mukilteo Multimodal Terminal Redevelopment:
The House-Senate agreement includes $1 million for Mukilteo Multimodal Terminal Redevelopment, an increase over the $750,000 passed by the House this summer. The Mukilteo Multimodal Terminal Redevelopment includes a new passenger terminal building with overhead loading, pedestrian and bicycle holding areas, two ferry slips to allow for the expansion of a three-boat schedule, commuter rail pedestrian connections, a bus platform for local and express buses, a park and ride lot and an expanded vehicle holding area for 260-300 vehicles. Redevelopment will increase seamless links to bus, rail and non-motorized modes of transportation and will help reduce congestion and expand ferry service.  

$200,000 for Five Replacement Buses for Skagit Transit:
The House-Senate agreement includes $200,000 for replacement buses for Skagit Transit, an increase over the $150,000 passed by the House this summer. Dramatic growth in Skagit County has outpaced Skagit Transit’s ability to purchase updated vehicles and keep up with standard maintenance. Skagit Transit’s current fleet includes a number of over-utilized older buses traveling over rough roadways resulting in excessive wear and tear.  The maintenance and repair needs have placed significant strain on Skagit Transit and buses are becoming unreliable. This funding will help purchase five replacement buses for Skagit Transit.

$250,000 for the Bellingham, Washington Marine Trades Center:
The Port of Bellingham, Washington has acquired property from Georgia-Pacific which is being redeveloped for public and commercial purposes. The site includes a 250,000 square foot warehouse and former industrial treatment lagoon, which the Port of Bellingham plans to rehabilitate into the Bellingham Marine Trades Center. When completed, the Center will serve as a location for local boat repair, launching and storage, related small business services and training for the marine industry in Northwest Washington.