State Receives Over $132 Million for Infrastructure Investments Through Grant Program Authorized by Cantwell

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, announced $132,611,221 in grant funding for nine major infrastructure projects across the State of Washington. The funding for these grants comes from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program, which was originally created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as TIGER grants.

This is the most Washington state has ever been awarded. Washington state was awarded the most grants of any state and received the most in total funding. The state received 5.89% of the total RAISE funding available this year, compared to 4.35% received last year.

As Commerce chair, Sen. Cantwell authorized the RAISE grant program for the first time ever in the Surface Transportation Investment Act, which was included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). The BIL provided $7.5 billion to the program over five years, a 50% increase in funding.

The following nine RAISE grants were awarded to Washington state projects:

West Side Transformation: Multimodal Connections to the Shoreline South Regional Transit Hub, City of Shoreline — $20 million

“The City of Shoreline is rapidly expanding – just the neighborhood surrounding the 148th Street Station is expected to add as many as 20,000 new housing units in the coming years. These new residents need safe, accessible transportation options,” said Sen. Cantwell. “This transformative, multimodal transportation project will support protects resident safety while providing transit access to the community and traffic efficiency on the 145th Corridor.”

Sen. Cantwell sent a letter of support to Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for the City of Shoreline to receive this grant in March 2023.

This project is a combination of several elements that will complete multimodal connections from the west side of I-5 to a new Sound Transit light rail station on the east side, set to open in 2024. Project elements include:

  • 145th Corridor improvements, including ADA accessibility sidewalk enhancements and creating left turn lanes and medians to reduce collisions and improve flow.
  • An off-corridor bike network parallel to 145th Street complete with pavement markings, intersection improvements, flashing beacons, speed cushions, signage, and connections to the 145th Corridor/148th Street bridge. 
  • A foot bridge at 148th Street to connect pedestrians and cyclists to the regional transit hub and light rail station.
  • This project is the remaining part of a larger $80 million project funded by Connection Washington, State Legislative Funding, South Transit System Access Funds, King County funds, and City of Shoreline General Funds. The City of Shoreline will provide the local match for this portion of the project.

The project will substantially improve overall traffic flow and safety on the 145th Corridor, and improve access to the future light rail station. Currently, 80% of Shoreline residents commute outside of the city limits for work, with the majority traveling into Seattle. 

This subarea, now known as the 148th Street Station Area growth center, will have nearly 4,000 housing units ready for occupancy in the next few years. This center has the capacity to build 20,000 housing units (due to mandatory inclusionary zoning requirements enacted by the City, nearly 20% of these units are anticipated to be affordable) and 9,000 new employees.  

"The $20 million RAISE grant is a game changer for us," said Shoreline Mayor Keith Scully. "It will allow us to complete our vision for the 145th Corridor, creating safe, reliable multimodal connections to the Shoreline South/148th light rail station. We are extremely grateful for the tireless efforts of Senator Cantwell, Senator Murray, and Representative Jayapal in helping us to secure this vital funding and for their leadership in securing significant funding for transportation projects across the state."

Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe – Upland Village Relocation Road Project, Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation — $24.98 million

“The Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe is at a critical juncture in their reservation expansion and climate resiliency efforts,” said Sen. Cantwell. “This funding will construct a roadway with the necessary utilities infrastructure, allowing the Tribe to relocate critical infrastructure while preserving their cultural growth and economic success.”

Sen. Cantwell met with the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe in August 2022 to discuss the upland village relocation road project. Photos available for use HERE.

  • This project will construct a road with utility infrastructure that will provide access to areas for future development, including essential and government services, economic development projects, a cultural museum, and housing.
  • This grant comes at a critical time to help the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe relocate upland to mitigate the effects of sea-level rise.

“We cannot express deeply enough our gratitude for this opportunity to help protect our people. Our reservation land is disappearing due to erosion; this takes away our place to live, work, and carry out our cultural practices for our community. The RAISE award will provide a road to begin our move which will be the first step in being able to relocate our entire community. Without the construction of this road, all our tribal members on the reservation will lose a place to live and they will lose access to Tribal government services that provide medical, social, and economic stability. It will protect lives that can perish by a single tsunami event or experience serious injury from storm surges and flooding with no way out. We thank you!” Said Chairwoman Charlene Nelson of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe

Airport Drive and Spotted Road Safety and Multimodal Improvements, Spokane Airport Board — $22.8 million

“The much-needed improvements for the Spokane Airport roadways – including relocation of Spotted Road and an interchange point over the Airport Drive roads – will allow all types of traffic to travel efficiently to the airport and surrounding region,” said Sen. Cantwell. “These changes will be particularly important as the airport’s renovation and expansion continues.  Ultimately, this project means that both people and goods will get where they need to go safely while supporting other long-term upgrades to the airport.”

Sen. Cantwell sent a letter of support to Secretary Buttigieg for the Spokane Airport Board to receive this grant in March 2023.

  • The project will provide safer and more efficient travel to and from the airport by relocating Spotted Road, a north-south collector roadway, outside the Runway Protection Zone for the Airport’s Primary Instrument Runway.
  • It will also construct a grade-separated interchange over inbound and outbound Airport Drive roadways. This will allow traffic on Spotted Road to proceed unencumbered above vehicles coming to and from the airport terminal.
  • The project will improve connectivity between pedestrian, bicycle, motorist, shuttle, ride-share, taxi, regional transit, school bus, and freight to the airport and the surrounding region.

Bell Road-BNSF Railway Grade Separation, City of Blaine — $9.5 million

“When freight trains slow down to cross the border multiple times per day, Bell Road -- a main arterial for the Blaine community -- can be cut off for nearly an hour at a time, hindering passage for drivers and emergency vehicles,” said Sen. Cantwell. “As freight trains continue to get longer, so does the wait time, and the chance for a medical emergency to turn deadly grows. This grant will help build an overpass over the crossing, eliminating this congestion and improving safety for the community and flow of goods to and from the border.”

  • This project would remove the at-grade South Blaine highway-rail grade crossing near the intersection of Bell Road and Peace Portal Drive on the south side of the city, and replace it with a safer elevated crossing.
  • This project will enhance community connectivity, lessen traffic delays, provide stormwater drainage, and allow for unencumbered freight movement.

Blaine Councilmember Garth Baldwin stated, “The city of Blaine appreciates the support of our federal and state representatives, our partners at Burlington Northern Sante Fee and the work of the talented team that drafted the grant application. Through the work and support of many, the City will take the next step forward in accomplishing a significant public safety improvement that we desperately need.”

“The Bell Road Grade Separation, coupled with the replacement of the Dakota Creek bridge, will greatly enhance our ability as a fire department to provide rapid, safe, and efficient fire and emergency medical services to the communities of Blaine and Birch Bay,” said Jason Van der Veen, Chief of North Whatcom Fire and Rescue. “Once the project is completed, our units will no longer be delayed, sometimes multiple times a day, while enroute to emergencies in both Blaine and Birch Bay.”

Puget Sound to Pacific Planning for Multi-use Trail, City of Port Angeles — $16.13 million

“Outdoor recreation contributes $20 billion to the state economy,” said Sen. Cantwell. “This grant will help complete the Great American Rail Trail in the State of Washington, generating an additional 240 jobs and resulting in an anticipated additional $25 million in tourist spending.”

Sen. Cantwell sent a letter of support to Secretary Buttigieg for the City of Port Angeles to receive this grant in March 2023.

  • The grant will support planning projects to complete the gaps in the Great American Rail Trail from Bainbridge Island ferry terminal to the Pacific coastline at La Push. Planning will include all aspects of the trail, from route alignment to design.
  • Once complete, the Great American Rail-Trail will span more than 3,700 miles across 12 states, beginning in Washington, D.C., and ending at the Pacific Ocean in Washington state. These rail-trails, public trails created from former railroad corridors, are multiuse paths ideal for walking, biking, skating, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding.
  • According to the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy in Washington state, the trail is estimated to generate 240 new jobs and $24.9 million in annual visitor spending, among other economic benefits.

Planning for Low-Emission Neighborhoods, City of Seattle — $1.2 million

“Neighborhoods across Seattle are planning for how to measure and address carbon emissions, so that residents can live and work in healthier environments,” said Sen. Cantwell “This funding will allow for communities to address the climate crisis at the local level, complementing the work of state and federal partners.”

  • This grant will fund planning that will enable Seattle to develop a comprehensive strategy for identifying low-emission neighborhoods throughout communities.
  • These funds will go towards data analytics, community engagement, and industry involvement to allow neighborhoods to confront climate change at the local level.

“Transportation emissions are Seattle’s number one source of climate pollution, and reducing the impact in our neighborhoods will improve the overall health of our residents as we fight climate change. As called for in our Seattle Transportation and Climate Justice Executive Order, Low-Emissions Neighborhoods recognize the connection between transportation, climate, and community and work to address these aspects collectively,” said Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell. “Thank you, Senator Cantwell, for supporting this work and helping us to take a decisive step towards a greener, healthier, and more equitable future.”

Big Quilcene River Bridge Replacement Project, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe — $25 million

“Washington state infrastructure must be ready to face the effects of climate change we’re seeing today. Investments included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides resiliency and protection against that very real threat,” said Sen. Cantwell. “These funds ensure the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s bridge replacement project will promote community resiliency while allowing for all modes of transportation to access the Big Quilcene River Bridge.”

  • This project will replace the Big Quilcene River Bridge on Linger Longer Road with an updated bridge that includes a pedestrian walkway and flood-control protections on the roadway.

Port Orchard Breakwater Replacement, Port of Bremerton — $9.4 million

“The Port Orchard Marina Breakwater is the economic driver for the City of Port Orchard, but has been closed to the public since it suffered weather damage in the fall of 2022,” said Sen. Cantwell. “The long-overdue breakwater repair will support vital local services, including the local marina, emergency response services, tribal and non-tribal commercial fishing vessels, and the Kitsap Transit foot ferry.” 

Sen. Cantwell sent a letter of support to Secretary Buttigieg for the Port of Bremerton to receive this grant in February 2023.

  • This project will replace the Port Orchard Marina Breakwater, which was built in 1974 and is more than 20 years beyond its expected lifespan. The breakwater suffered storm damage last fall and has since been closed to the general public.
  • Impacts of a changed environment due to climate change and wave attenuation from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Washington State ferry traffic have degraded the facility. The breakwater protect is currently the only saltwater fueling station within 16 nautical miles serving marine vessels and is vital to the community.
  • The breakwater is located in a designated opportunity zone and supports a local marina that serves as the economic driver for the City of Port Orchard, contributing $10 million to the local economy each year.
  • The breakwater also supports numerous public uses by providing moorage for essential government emergency response services, tribal and non-tribal commercial fishing boats, includes mooring for the Kitsap Transit foot ferry fleet (which may provide up to 600,000 annual trips by 2026), and houses 25 liveaboards.
  • Replacement of this facility is not only necessary to support these economic assets and public safety, but the new design will create electrification opportunities for the growing Kitsap Transit electric fleet and recreational vessels.

Planning for Safe and Reliable Bike, Pedestrian & Transit Access for Hood River-White Salmon Bridge, Port of Hood River — $3.6 million

“The Hood River Bridge is a critical link that connects Oregon and Washington across the Columbia River Gorge. But due to its deteriorating condition, the bridge is currently weight-restricted, which hinders freight mobility. This planning grant will help ensure pedestrians and bicyclists are safely separated from the increased freight traffic the new bridge will allow,” said Sen. Cantwell.

Sen. Cantwell sent a letter of support to Secretary Buttigieg for the Port of Hood River to receive this grant in May 2023.

  • The Hood River – White Salmon Bridge is a critical link spanning the Columbia River, connecting Oregon and Washington in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
  • The project will replace the structurally deficient bridge, eliminating the current weight and size restrictions and improving freight mobility.
  • The project will also fill essential gaps in the local and regional bike, pedestrian, and trail networks.
  • In 2022 the bridge received a Sufficiency Rating of just 6 out of 100. The bridge has exceeded its safe and useful lifespan and is planned for replacement with a new bridge opening in 2029.

“Bike and pedestrian access across the new bridge is critical to our local communities,” said Port of Hood River Commissioner Mike Fox. “The project team is grateful for this award, which will help us realize our vision of a bridge that works for everybody.”

“This grant is an exciting step forward for the new bridge,” said Klickitat County Commissioner Jacob Anderson. “Those of us on the Washington side are looking forward to walking and biking across it, as well as welcoming more business and tourism from Oregon.”