SPOKANE, Wash — A $14.3 million grant has been approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation for the improvement of infrastructure along Geiger Boulevard, Senator Patty Murray’s office said.
Spokane County and its partners proposed plans for economic growth in the Geiger Boulevard area earlier this year.
Spokane County leaders said the area off of Geiger Boulevard has a potential to attract new business and spur economic growth.
The addition of a new Amazon facility is one way Spokane's West Plains is transforming.
"You go in the West Plains on I-90 and you see buildings under construction and you see cranes in the air that are actually building communities," Al French the County Commissioner of District 3 said.
The $16.1 million federal grant will help improve the infrastructure of Geiger Boulevard. In February, the government opened up the submission process for a federal BUILD grant. Spokane County planners spent months working on the proposal.
"This is about economic development, this is about bringing new jobs to this community, and growing the community wealth,” French said.
The plan includes expanding the road, installing sewer and water lines so nearby land can be developed and more.
The Geiger Boulevard improvements will support over 3,000 new jobs and over 1,300 new residents.
The county and its partners have committed $28.6 million of non-federal funds to the project.
The county has partnered with the City of Spokane, Washington State Department of Transportation, Spokane Transit, Spokane International Airport and Spokane Regional Transportation Council.
County planners said it can be difficult finding the funding for these types of projects.
"It is challenging to come up with dollars for infrastructure improvements. A lot of our baseline funding goes to maintaining existing infrastructure,” Chad Coles a Spokane County engineer said. "We do the right shuffle and mix and match to try to get the right agencies to support the projects we need."
But in the end they believe it will be well worth it as they prepare now for the influx of new business opportunities.
French said three new business are expected to set up shop on the West Plains sometime next year.
He did not give many details, but he did say one of them is an international company and the other two are national.
"That means that others see the value that Spokane has to offer to the business community and want to be part of our success and part of our future and that's all good,” French said.