Senators Cantwell, Murray Secure Major Investment for Spokane Valley to Improve Barker Road Railway Intersection

City of Spokane Valley awarded more than $9 million through competitive federal TIGER program to ease traffic congestion, improve freight & rail efficiency

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the City of Spokane Valley will receive more than $9 million to improve the railroad crossings at Barker and Flora roads through a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grants program. The competitive grant would eliminate two railroad crossings, help improve the safety and efficiency of freight and rail movement in Spokane Valley, and increase access for emergency responders, residents, and businesses. Additionally, the investment would support the development of 600 acres of industrial, mixed use, and commercial land which is currently available but difficult to access due to the combination of rail and truck traffic.

“Fast freight movement means jobs. By removing two grade crossings and adding pedestrian and bicycle facilities, we will see reduced congestion, improved freight mobility, and improved safety for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians,” said Senator Cantwell. “The efficient movement of freight through Spokane Valley will improve the nation’s ability to transport Washington state products to overseas markets and create good paying jobs.”

“My goal behind creating the TIGER program was to help make our communities and transportation systems safer, more efficient, and better able to meet the demands of the 21st century economy—and I’m glad to see critical investments that will improve rail efficiency and relieve local traffic congestion flow to the City of Spokane Valley,” said Senator Murray. “This project will not only benefit the regional and national economy, but will cut commute times for families in the greater Spokane region. I’ll continue championing TIGER and other programs that support much-needed improvements to our infrastructure and help communities maintain healthy economies to benefit current and future generations.”

Since the creation of the TIGER program in 2009, it has awarded $5.1 billion to help facilitate 421 projects in every state in the country, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. Of that total, Washington state has received $239 million to support 16 projects, including: the Tacoma LINK Expansion, a new ferry terminal in Mukilteo, the North Spokane Corridor, the Mercer Corridor Redevelopment project in Seattle, the South Park Bridge Replacement in King County, the West Vancouver Freight Access project at the Port of Vancouver, improvements to I-5 to relieve congestion around Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and terminal modernization projects at the Ports of Seattle and Everett. TIGER is a unique, cost-effective program that helps state and local agencies tackle complex transportation challenges in their communities, while putting people to work and boosting regional economies.