Senators Murray and Cantwell and Rep. Schrier Host DOT Secretary Buttigieg for Apple Capital Loop Celebration in Wenatchee

(Wenatchee, WA) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Rep. Kim Schrier, M.D. (D-WA-08) hosted U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for a celebration of the Apple Capital Loop project in Wenatchee. Last year, Senator Murray to secure a $92 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant.

“Wenatchee is central to commerce and activity in Washington state—and the Apple Capital Loop is at the heart of it. Every day, over a hundred thousand vehicles move through the Loop, getting families and freight where they need to go, our iconic Washington state apples travel down these roads to get from growers to grocery stores, and of course, so many people visit the Loop Trail we were on today for a walk, a ride, and some fresh air,” said Senator Murray. “In short, the Apple Capitol loop is a cornerstone of the community and economy, and it’s critical to make sure it’s safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly. That’s why I fought so hard to bring this $92 million INFRA grant here to Wenatchee—the largest INFRA grant in the country in 2021.”

“We’re really here for the over 60,000 [apple related] jobs and over 100,000 jobs with the whole tree fruit industry,” said Senator Cantwell. “And we’re here to make sure that multibillion dollar industry remains competitive, and to do that we needed to improve the infrastructure. There is an average of something like 4,000 trucks that go through this area a day … it’s so important that we continue to make these improvements.”

“I am thrilled that this grant has been awarded to this very important project and that we could welcome DOT Secretary Buttigieg here to Wenatchee to celebration the INFRA grant,” said Rep. Schrier. “Since I took office, I worked with local stakeholders to make the case to the Department of Transportation about why this project was needed. This grant moves this project forward to improve safety, decrease emergency response times, and connect our communities. I cannot overstate how much of an impact this project will have on the Wenatchee Valley!”

Senator Murray, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, wrote a letter to Secretary Buttigieg in support of the Apple Capital Loop project and has been a strong advocate for Washington state when it comes to transportation and infrastructure grants. In August, she announced nearly $100 million in Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant funding for Washington state—the most the state has ever been awarded. Senator 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 Senator Murray is a member of.

In March 2021 Rep. Schrier sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg pushing for the project to be approved. Early on in her first term, she met with community leaders to tour the project area and learn about the critical need for this funding, and then immediately made this one of her top priorities as a new Member of Congress.

The funding will allow the City of Wenatchee to construct a network of projects on an 11-mile loop, including intersection improvements to SR 285/North Wenatchee Avenue, construction of a railroad underpass on McKittrick Street, and replacement of a signalized intersection with a roundabout at US 2/Easy Street. It will also create an approximately 2.5-mile bypass of SR 285, replace an at-grade intersection with a half-diamond grade-separated interchange, and widen a segment of SR 28.