Funding Shortfall Puts Washington State Highway Project on Hold

The project will eliminate congestion and improve traffic flow and safety for thousands of drivers throughout the Spokane Valley.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Acting Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau met with workers and received a progress report on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railway realignment. The project is the first step toward completing the new US 395 North Spokane Corridor that will connect to I-90 from its current terminus at Freya Street.

The track relocation is necessary to build the remaining five-mile section of the North Spokane Corridor, which still lacks the estimated $700 million needed to complete the link to I-90.

“This project will eliminate congestion and improve traffic flow and safety for thousands of drivers throughout the Spokane Valley each day," says U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This project is a perfect example of why we need a long-term transportation bill, like the GROW AMERICA Act, that will provide funding certainty at the federal level.”

Earlier this year, the Obama administration announced a plan to address the infrastructure deficit with a $478 billion, six-year surface transportation reauthorization proposal, the GROW AMERICA Act. The proposal would make critical investments in roads, bridges and other infrastructure needed to promote long-term economic growth, enhance safety and efficiency and support jobs well into the 21st century.

“Improving traffic flow in growing business hubs like Spokane helps everyone, from shorter trips to and from work and enhanced safety for thousands of drivers each day,” says Acting Administrator Nadeau. “These are the kind of projects we need to see more of nationwide – and, with Congress’ help, we will.”

The North Spokane Corridor will be built on completely new alignment as a limited-access highway nearly 11 miles long, to connect I-90 with points north of Spokane. It will provide motorists and freight trucks a more expedited route through Spokane, meaning fewer trucks on local streets traveling north and south. The project’s first five-mile segment is completed.

The BNSF railway relocation is proceeding with the $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant toward the total cost of $31.5 million. When completed, area residents will have new pedestrian and bicycle trails to supplement existing transportation choices.