Senators Cantwell and Murray, Representative Schrier Announce $92.4 Million Federal Grant for Apple Capital Loop

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Representative Kim Schrier, M.D. (D, WA-08) announced a $92.4 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for the Apple Capital Loop in Wenatchee. Senator CantwellSenator Murray, and Representative Schrier have previously written letters of support for the project to the DOT.

“This is a big win for Wenatchee. The Apple Capital Loop project will help reduce freight congestion in Wenatchee Valley and increase shipping capacity for fruit growers and other producers. Wenatchee’s growth economy is essential to the whole state. Giving them the infrastructure so they can continue to grow and move great products to world-class markets is a big economic priority for the state. More than 110,000 vehicles transit this critical freight corridor each day and finally completing this project will help this fast growing region compete in the global economy,” said Senator Cantwell.

“Wenatchee is a hub for several key industries in Washington state, including our iconic apple industry. The Apple Capital Loop would complete several regional efforts to better connect the Wenatchee community and promote commerce, improve safety, reduce congestion, and help combat climate change,” Senator Murray said. “I’ve heard from the people of Wenatchee about how important this project is, and worked hard to bring their words back to the other Washington, and now I’m glad to see the other Washington is delivering. This project will be important for the entire region and I’m going to keep working to secure other major investments in infrastructure across our state to make sure every Washington family and business can get to where they need to go as safely and quickly as possible.”

“I am thrilled that this grant has been awarded for the highest priority infrastructure project in the Wenatchee Valley,” said Representative Schrier. “Since I took office, I have been working with local stakeholders to make the case to the Department of Transportation about why this project is so critical. The $92 million award is the largest INFRA grant awarded this year, and this is one of just a few projects nationwide selected for funding. These dollars will go a long way in moving this project forward to improve safety, decrease emergency response times, and connect our communities. I was proud to go to bat and deliver for the people in the district. I cannot overstate how much of an impact this project will have on the Wenatchee Valley and the 8th district! I’m just so excited.”

The INFRA program is a discretionary grant program to fund transportation projects of national and regional significance that are in line with the Biden Administration’s principles for national infrastructure projects that result in good-paying jobs, improve safety, apply transformative technology, and explicitly address climate change and racial equity.

The Apple Capital Loop project is a network of projects completing an 11-mile loop that serves as the backbone for highway, transit, and active modes of transportation, and it has been a long-standing regional and community priority built on significant community planning efforts that directly support the key objectives of the INFRA program. Completing the Apple Capital Loop is an effort by the City of Wenatchee and its partners – the City of East Wenatchee, Chelan County, Douglas County, Washington Department of Transportation, Chelan-Douglas Regional Port Authority, LINK Transit, and Chelan-Douglas Transportation Council – to construct the $263 million Completing the Apple Capital Loop project, leveraging $123 million in total match committed from a combination of local, state, and other sources of funds.

The long-lasting infrastructure investments provided by this project will position Wenatchee and the region for future success by creating good paying jobs, enhancing transportation equity for residents and households with limited access to automobiles, and addressing the climate crisis. The Project reduces greenhouse gases by addressing congestion at bottlenecks while at the same time expanding clean-fuel transit services and more access to safe walking and bicycling routes, and as adaptation and disaster preparedness for climate-induced wildfire disasters. The project will save lives by providing additional evacuation routes for both motorized and non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians during future urban-interface wildfires, as the community experienced in 2015. These events impact the entire region but especially the most vulnerable populations, which are more susceptible to wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters.

Senator Cantwell has long been a supporter of more funding for transportation projects and created the INFRA program this grant comes from. The  Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee recently approved the Surface Transportation Investment Act of 2021 that would double funding for the INFRA grant program over the next five years.