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U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Helps Break Ground on North Spokane Recovery Act Project

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Ray LaHood

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Helps Break Ground on North Spokane Recovery Act Project

U.S. Department of Transportation
September 7, 2010

DOT 163-10
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Contact: Justin Nisly
Tel: 202-366-4570

Recovery money will create jobs, improve safety and access

SPOKANE, Wash. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today joined U.S. Senator Patty Murray, along with state and local officials, in breaking ground on the North Spokane Corridor, an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded construction project that will create jobs and enhance safety for all drivers in the region.

Recovery Act dollars totaling $35 million will pay for a portion of a 10.5 mile-long freeway connecting I-90 on the south end to existing U.S. 2 and U.S. 395 on the north end.

“Creating jobs and strengthening infrastructure is exactly what the Recovery Act is meant to do,” said Secretary LaHood. “This new segment of the North Spokane Corridor will help keep drivers safe and support local and national trade.”

Once completed, the project will add 3.7 miles of southbound lanes on U.S. 395 from Francis Avenue to Farwell Road in Spokane to complement the existing northbound lanes. These new lanes will allow trucks to travel north and south, keeping them off local roads. The project will relieve traffic congestion and provide a safe bicycle/pedestrian trail connecting Spokane neighborhoods and other trail systems.

“I fought hard to include funding for this program that will help local commuters and create jobs here in Spokane,” said Senator Murray. “This project is not only going to put people to work, it’s also going to reduce congestion and help make the region more competitive. This community has invested its time, energy and resources into completing this freeway, and I’m so pleased that we were able to add this important federal investment.”

“To put our economy back on track, we need to take actions that create jobs now and we need a transportation system that moves people and goods efficiently,” said Governor Chris Gregoire. “This project does both, reducing congestion in Spokane and putting people to work right away.”

“This grant has an immediate value to our economy and the businesses and families dependent on the jobs it will create. But it is also important for the economy of our future, across the region and the state, "said Spokane Mayor Mary Verner. “This investment in our infrastructure is a building block to our tomorrow”

The grant is part of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program included in the Recovery Act to promote innovative, multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional transportation projects that provide significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, region or the nation.

Of the more than $26.6 billion in Recovery Act highway dollars available nationwide, Washington received nearly $492 million for highway projects, excluding TIGER grants. As of August 27, the state had funded 221 projects, with73 projects under way and 131 completed.

In addition to this grant for the Spokane Corridor, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded a $30 million TIGER grant to Seattle for the Mercer Corridor project.

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