The North Spokane Corridor project will receive $35 million under the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program. The grant is one of 51 transportation projects funded by the $1.5 billion U.S. Department of Transportation program, set up to quickly create jobs and boost local economies while investing in improving transportation.
�This is a huge win for a project that has long been the centerpiece of efforts to boost Spokane�s economy and create local jobs,� says Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee. �The North Spokane Corridor is exactly the type of project I had in mind when working to create this grant program. That�s because it�s a critical project that will have a major regional impact. This project puts people to work, improves safety, reduces congestion, and helps build a more economically vibrant and competitive region.�
Washington Governor Chris Gregoire submitted the project as part of Washington state�s TIGER application to complement the $559 million in state funds already invested for the corridor. �We are creating construction jobs in the short term and will provide the foundation for more jobs in the long term,� Gregoire says.
Interest in the TIGER program far outstripped the dollars DOT had available. The department received more than 1,400 applications from all 50 states and other jurisdictions, requesting a total of nearly $60 billion.
Washington also received $30 million for the Mercer Corridor Redevelopment in Seattle.
Expansion and replacement of U.S.395 through Spokane remains one of the region�s top transportation priorities. The corridor has become increasingly congested due to population growth in the region as well as increased truck volumes. The project creates a thoroughfare through the city of Spokane connecting I-90 with U.S. 395, north of the city. When fully completed, the North Spokane Corridor will be a 60-mile per hour, limited access highway. However, it will also facilitate enhanced transit service as well as improved facilities for bicycles and pedestrian traffic.
Washington State Department of Transportation plans to use TIGER funding to build two southbound lanes from Francis Avenue to US 395, completing 3.7 mi of the highway. The northbound lanes were recently opened to traffic and are being used for both northbound and southbound traffic.