WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tuesday, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, and U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation will award a $10 million competitive grant to the North Spokane Corridor project on Friday.
The Washington State Department of Transportation, which applied for the TIGER grant in March, will use the grant to:
• Relocate 7.5 miles of BNSF mainline and switch spur rail tracks near the Freya Street interchange
• Extend an existing 5.5-mile bicycle/pedestrian trail for more than one mile to serve the Hillyard neighborhood
Officials say each of these components is critical to the NSC’s completion and will help bring the project one step closer to I-90.
Officials say a completed NSC would be a tremendous boost to Eastern Washington’s freight network. Once it’s done, the NSC would allow trucks and commuters to bypass city streets with 29 stoplights for a modern, high-speed roadway that links I-90 with US-395. This would save an estimated 30 minutes of driving time, divert up to 100,000 trips per day from city streets and reduce annual travel time up and down the corridor by 9.4 million hours per year. The estimated value of these efficiencies is $240 million each year.
The completed NSC will also increase access to more than 500 acres of commercial and industrial land ripe for development. In 2010, more than 533 million tons of freight moved in Washington – a number expected to grow by 86 percent by 2040.