WASHINGTON, D.C – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chair of the Commerce, Science, and Technology Committee, and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced nearly $100 million in Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant funding for Washington state. RAISE grants, which were originally created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as TIGER grants, can be used for a wide variety of infrastructure projects with local or regional impact.
This is the most Washington state has ever been awarded. Washington state was awarded the second-most grants of any state and received the fourth most in total funding. The state also received a total of 4.35 percent of the RAISE funding available this year, whereas for highway formula funds, Washington state receives 2.2 percent of the funding available.
As chair of the Senate Commerce, Science and Technology Committee, Sen. Cantwell worked to authorize the RAISE grant program for the first time ever in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provided the program with $7.5 billion over five years, a 50 percent increase in funding.
Sen. Murray originally created the RAISE program (previously known as TIGER and BUILD) in 2009 and has been a longtime supporter of the program, most recently helping secure $7.5 billion for the RAISE program. The program is funded specifically via the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, which Sen. Murray is a member of.
The following RAISE grants were awarded to Washington state projects:
Lummi Island Ferry Replacement and System Modernization Project, Whatcom County – $25 million
“With over 1,000 permanent residents on Lummi Island, we know how critical having frequent, reliable ferry service is. This $25 million grant award will fully fund the replacement of the 60-year-old Whatcom Chief with a state of the art battery-electric hybrid ferry. This new ferry will nearly double vehicle and passenger capacity, reduce carbon emissions, and will serve residents and visitors to Lummi Island for the foreseeable future,” Sen. Cantwell said.
“As someone who relies on our state’s ferry system, I know just how important this investment is. These federal dollars will help replace the 60-year-old ferry with a safer, greener ferry that will also allow for more riders,” Sen. Murray said. “This is a win for jobs, for clean energy, and for anyone who relies on the ferry service. I created the RAISE program to help make infrastructure projects like this one a reality, and as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’m going to keep working to secure the federal dollars Washington state needs to keep moving forward.”
Lummi Island is a rural community with the ferry producing the only connection between the island and the mainland of Whatcom County. The ferry is one of the state’s oldest vessels and is well past the end of its useful life. The RAISE grant for the Lummi Island Ferry Replacement and System Modernization Project will help replace the ferry with a battery-hybrid vessel that would reduce emissions and increase affordable ridership capacity commensurate with demand. This funding comes following a letter of support written by Sen. Cantwell and Sen. Murray to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg in March.
Poplar Way Bridge Project, City of Lynnwood – $25 million
“This $25 million grant will fully fund the construction of Poplar Way Bridge, improving multimodal access into Lynnwood while also reducing regional congestion on I-5. Lynnwood’s population has grown by 13 percent since 2010, and with a new Sound Transit Light Rail station expected to open by 2024, Poplar Way Bridge will allow the city to accommodate future growth,” Sen. Cantwell said.
“A new Poplar Way Bridge in Lynnwood would mean less traffic, safer travel for bikers and pedestrians, and more access to forthcoming public transportation options when Lynnwood Link is completed,” Sen. Murray said. “These RAISE grants are going to make a world of difference in these communities whether it’s safer streets, shorter commutes, or cleaner air. I created the RAISE program to help make infrastructure projects like this one a reality, and as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’m going to keep working to secure the federal dollars Washington state needs to keep moving forward.”
The $25 million grant will go towards the construction of a new six lane bridge, the Lynnwood Poplar Way Bridge, over I-5 that would support car, bike, and pedestrian traffic. The new bridge will reduce congestion in the City of Lynnwood, provide an alternate route for emergency vehicles, and improve access to the Lynnwood Link light rail, scheduled to open in 2024. This funding comes following a letter of support written by Sen. Murray to Secretary Buttigieg in March.
Bothell Way Multimodal Improvement project, City of Bothell — $19 million
“As Bothell continues to grow over the coming decades, average daily traffic on Bothell Way is expected to double. This $19 million grant will fully fund multimodal and freight improvements on Bothell Way by reconstructing and widening 1.3 miles of highway — improving freight mobility, safety, and transit access for all highway users,” Sen. Cantwell said.
“No matter where we live, we all want safer streets – and that’s exactly what this RAISE grant will go towards in Bothell,” Sen. Murray said. “The project is going to make the roads safer for buses, motorists, and bikers trying to go to the grocery store or pick their kids up from school. I created the RAISE program to help make infrastructure projects like this one a reality, and as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’m going to keep working to secure the federal dollars Washington state needs to keep moving forward.”
The $19 million dollar RAISE grant will provide vital improvements to the Bothell’s transportation system and address key safety concerns in the communities. The project will reconstruct and widen roadways, install bus rapid transit lines, and construct protected bike lanes to reduce interaction between motorists and bikers. It will also help install adaptive traffic signals to enhance safety and improve traffic flow, and well as provide for the construction of new sidewalks to connect residential and retail areas. This funding comes following a letter of support written by Sen. Murray in July.
Pines Road/Burlington Northern Santa Fe Grade (BNSF) Separation Project, City of Spokane Valley — $21.7 million
“Last year, the Spokane Valley’s Pines Road crossing of the BNSF mainline resulted in over 26,000 vehicle hours of delay. This crossing sees over 15,000 vehicles and 67 trains per day and saw 9 recorded collisions in 2021. This $21.7 million in grant funding will increase safety by fully replacing an existing at-grade crossing with an underpass of BNSF’s railroad tracks, and will keep vehicle and freight traffic moving by constructing a multi-lane roundabout,” Sen. Cantwell said.
“Pines Road is one of Spokane Valley’s busiest streets and, thanks to this grant funding, we are reducing congestion on Pines Road and expanding public transportation access so everyone can get where they need to go quickly and safely,” Sen. Murray said. “These projects are critical to ensuring workers get to work on time, kids get to school on time, and reducing our emissions so our air is cleaner. I created the RAISE program to help make infrastructure projects like this one a reality, and as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’m going to keep working to secure the federal dollars Washington state needs to keep moving forward.”
Pines Road is one of the most heavily traveled roads in Spokane Valley. The $21.7 million RAISE grant for the Pines Road BNSF Grade Crossing Elimination Project will construct a new roundabout at the intersection of Pines Road and Trent Road, both of which are state highways. It also provides for constructing a new rail underpass at Pines Road that would expand capacity from one track to four and expanding bus service routes. The project will also add a new parking lot with electric vehicle charging stations and a new trailhead facility to provide access to the Centennial Trail and the Spokane River. Sen. Murray also secured $5 million in Congressionally Directed Spending this year for the Pines Road project. This RAISE funding comes following a letter of support written by Sen. Murray to Secretary Buttigieg in May.
Airport Road Multimodal & Regional Access Improvements Project, City of Pullman – $5 million
“Pullman-Moscow Airport is an economic driver for the region, supporting nearly 1,000 jobs with an economic impact of $130 million annually. These funds will support efforts to increase the capacity of Airport Road which will improve access for students, business travelers, and workers as the airport continues to grow,” Sen. Cantwell said.
“Airport Road is a critical artery for so many drivers in Pullman and the surrounding area, but right now is not built for any other kind of transit,” Sen. Murray said. “This planning grant will help the city implement their complete streets policy around the city so that walkers and bikers can safely community on Airport Road and around Pullman. These kinds of investments make our communities stronger and better places to live and raise a family and I am proud to fund projects like these in Washington state.”
Right now, Airport Road in Pullman is limited to motorized vehicles. The City of Pullman Airport Road Multimodal & Regional Access Improvements Project will design a road to expand access to alternative forms of transportation and improve access to the airport for communities in the region. This will be especially important given the recent announcement of Pullman-Moscow Airport’s terminal expansion. The grant funding will ensure that these projects are shovel-ready once the city acquires capital funding. This funding comes following a letter of support written by Sen. Murray to Secretary Buttigieg in April.
Yakima County Heritage Connectivity Trails project, Yakima County – $1 million
“There have been 26 crashes involving pedestrians in the Heritage Connectivity Trails project area over the last decade, 80 percent of which resulted in serious injury or death. This funding will support efforts by the Yakima Nation and the state to improve safety and walkability of this dangerous stretch along US 97,” Sen. Cantwell said.
“Safety and connectivity are two absolutely critical parts of any transportation system and this planning grant will help improve both in Yakima County,” said Sen. Murray. “Right now, Yakima County experiences more fatal collisions between pedestrians and automobiles than anywhere else in Washington state. This project will help address that by building more trails that connect people to the resources they need so that walkers and drivers stay a safe distance from each other. This is a really important project in our state and I am really proud to help get Yakima County critical funding with this grant.”
Native Americans are disproportionately represented in serious injury and fatal traffic collisions in Washington State, with the Yakama Nation experiencing the highest rate in the state. The Yakima County Heritage Connectivity Trails Project seeks to reduce the interactions that pedestrians have with automobiles and create safe roads and trails for everyone in the region.
Reconnecting I-90 Communities, Washington State Department of Transportation – $5 million
“Access to quality and affordable transportation is critical to improving economic mobility. These planning funds will assist the state with improving multimodal transportation options for the residents of both Spokane’s East Central Neighborhood and Seattle’s Judkins Park Neighborhood, both of which have poverty levels double their cities’ average,” Sen. Cantwell said.
“I-90 connects the two ends of Washington state and is a critical passageway for commerce in the Pacific Northwest,” Sen. Murray said. “This planning grant will help Washington state make that passageway quicker, safer, more efficient, and easier to access for communities across the state. Projects like this one are so important to our state and I am proud to help secure these federal dollars to help make them a reality.”
This $5 million planning grant will help connect communities in Seattle and Spokane connect to I-90 more easily and provide greater access to future mass transit options like light rail. WSDOT will also use lessons learned from these two areas to develop a toolkit for implementing analytical methods and safety measures introduced in the recently completed Active Transportation Plan across the state.
RAISE Grants Awarded to Washington State in the Last Five Years include:
- $9.02 million for Spokane Valley’s Barker Road Grade Separation Project (2017)
- $5.6 million for WSDOT’s Rural Rail Rehabilitation project in Whitman, Spokane, and Lincoln Counties (2018)
- $14.3 million for Spokane County’s Geiger Boulevard Infrastructure Improvement Project (2018)
- $11.3 million for Spokane Airport’s Rail-Truck Transload Facility Project (2019)
- $17.75 million for the Port of Everett’s Mills to Maritime Cargo Terminal Project (2020)
- $7.01 million for the City of Ridgefield’s Pioneer Street Extension Project (2020)
- $5 million for the Port of Hood River’s White Salmon/Hood River Interstate Bridge Replacement Project (2020)
- $20 million for Seattle’s East Marginal Way Corridor Improvement Project (2021)
- $16 million for Longview’s Industrial Rail Corridor Expansion (IRCE) (2021)
- $2.08 million for Aberdeen’s US-12 Highway-Rail Separation Project (2021)
- $22.1 million for Snohomish County’s Granite Falls Bridge #102 (2021)