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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Pacific NW

Feds award $60 million to improve Washington state freight routes

UPDATED: Tue., Nov. 16, 2021

By Mike Lindblom Seattle Times

A major truck street in Seattle’s Sodo area will be equipped with new traffic signals, stronger pavement and bike-lane protection using one of four federal freight-mobility grants awarded in Washington state, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D- Wash., announced Tuesday.

The project, on East Marginal Way South between Terminal 46 and the Spokane Street Viaduct, will serve “one of the nation’s most critical internal transportation centers,” local politicians wrote in a grant application seeking $20 million.

Next year the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 will reopen to host the world’s largest container ships, just across the lower West Seattle Bridge.

Road work is expected from late 2022 until 2025, to serve as many as 3,700 trucks and 1,000 bicyclists per day, the application letter said.

In addition to federal funds, the city says it secured another $7 million in property tax levy funds, plus $12 million in port, utility and state sources. A new two-way bike lane, the city’s application said, will be 10 feet wide and separated by a concrete barrier.

The Port of Longview received $16 million to add train tracks to directly deliver bulk soda ash and farm products by rail to a Columbia River dock. Port officials have also discussed hydrogen, wood pellets, biodiesel and steel rebar as possible products for a new $76 million terminal, The Daily News reported.

Another $2 million will fund planning for a rail-separation project in Aberdeen, eliminating train blockages from Highway 12. And $22 million would fully fund a new Mountain Loop Highway bridge over the South Fork of the Stillaguamish River, to open in 2026. It would replace a span built in 1934 serving Granite Falls, Darrington, trail users, a quarry and logging operations.

Cantwell said the federal Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity fund will receive a $7.5 billion share of President Joe Biden’s new infrastructure bill signed Monday.

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