One Year Anniversary of BIL: Here’s What Washington State Received for Transportation

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 15, 2022 – One year ago today, President Biden’s Infrastructure Law (BIL) was signed. Since then, more than $3.7 billion in funding has gone to Washington state for road, bridge, transit, freight, rail, port and trail projects. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, Chair of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, authored many of the provisions of the law to meet the needs of Washington state. Additionally, much of the funding has gone out under grant programs authorized by the committee she chairs.

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Sen. Cantwell with Mate John Mulhern on the Lummi Island Ferry on 08.17.22. | Source: Sen. Maria Cantwell.

“This is a once-in-a-generation investment in infrastructure and it couldn’t have come at a more crucial time. In the 12 months since the BIL was passed, $3.7 billion has been put to work in communities across Washington state,” said Sen Cantwell. “The money has launched nearly 500 local projects. These projects will repair crumbling roads and bridges, help buses run on time, and eliminate freight bottlenecks to lower shipping costs. Over the next five years, even more investments are headed our way to tackle mega projects, expand transit, and get freight moving faster through the state.

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ColorCompetitive (Diamond)Formula (Circle)
RedTransitTransit
GreenRoad/BridgeRoad/Bridge (over $1 million)
PurpleAirportAirport
BlueFreightFreight
OrangeRail 
YellowTrail 

This map provides a snapshot of transportation projects across the state that received BIL funds in the last year. The total includes 103 road or bridge projects that received more than $1 million in funding each. There are additional 392 projects that received less than $1 million but aren’t shown on the map. In total, 495 Washington state transportation infrastructure projects received funds in the year since the BIL was signed by the President.

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Sen. Cantwell at US-12 Highway Rail Seperation Project in Aberdeen, WA on 11.19.2021. Source: Se. Maria Cantwell.

Today, the White House released a fact sheet indicating that Washington state received approximately 175 grant awards for infrastructure projects, including transportation, energy, and water awards. Some of these grants were distributed directly to local governments, some of which used the money to fund multiple projects in their area. A full list of the highway and bridge projects in Washington state funded through the BIL and tracked by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association is attached, or can be found HERE.

The benefits of the BIL have already been felt across the state. Transportation projects funded through the BIL include:

  1. $17.03 million to expand and reduce carbon emissions at Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5: Terminal 5 at the Port of Seattle was awarded $17,035,900 from the Port Infrastructure Development Program. The project has two major components: 1) Construction of a new truck gate complex by relocating the existing gate lanes and expanding the number of lanes equipped with truck scales, and 2) The construction of a cargo container storage yard by demolishing an unused warehouse and repurposing the land for container sorting and storage.
  2. $16 million to expand the industrial rail corridor at the Port of Longview: The Port of Longview secured a $16 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to build upon the two-track industrial rail corridor. With these funds, the port can construct a six-track bed adjacent to the current corridor, adding 8,500 feet of tracks and increasing the lengths the of the two existing tracks from 7,500 feet to 8,500 feet to accommodate full-length unit trains. This project will help reduce congestion, increase efficiency, and provide space to add additional tracks in the future.
  3. $11.8 million to construct a new terminal building at the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport: Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport received $11,800,000 from an Airport Investment Project grant. The funds are to be used for construction of the new terminal building to replace the existing terminal originally built for smaller aircraft. The new terminal will accommodate larger aircrafts that serve the airport as well as the increase in passenger capacity. The new terminal will have improved energy efficiency and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  4. $25 million for a new hybrid Lummi Island Ferry: Whatcom County was awarded a $25 million grant for the Lummi Island Ferry Replacement and System Modernization Project. The grant will fully fund the replacement of the 60-year-old Whatcom Chief with a new battery-electric hybrid ferry. The Whatcom Chief is one of the oldest vessels in Washington State and is serving as the only connection between rural Lummi Island and the mainland of Whatcom County. The new battery-hybrid vessel will reduce emissions and increase affordable ridership capacity.

The money disbursed this year is only the start. In total, Washington state will receive an estimated total of $7.6 billion in transportation funds from the BIL, including:

  1. $4.5 billion in highway funding
  2. $605 million for bridge replacement and repairs,
  3. $300 million for roadway safety,
  4. $1.79 billion for transit,
  5. $71 million to expand the electric vehicle charging network, and
  6. $384.7 million in airport infrastructure grants to Washington airports
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Sen. Cantwell and Dept. Sec. Trottenberg at Port of Seattle T5 on 08.18.2022. Source: Sen. Maria Cantwell.

The programs disbursing these grants include five that were authored by Sen. Cantwell, including:

  1. INFRA: Sen. Cantwell created the INFRA program in 2015, establishing the first freight infrastructure-focused grant program at USDOT. The BIL provided the program with $8 billion over five years, a 78 percent increase in funds from the FAST Act. The first round of BIL-funded awards was announced in September, with Washington state receiving $25 million for the Salmon Bay Bridge.
  2. National Culvert Removal, Replacement and Restoration: Helps remove or redesign culverts and weirs that create barriers to salmon migration. The program will allocate $1 billion for the U.S. Department of Transportation. USDOT is currently accepting applications for this program — they are due by February 6, 2023.
  3. Railroad Crossings Elimination: At-grade railroad crossings are safety hazard and a major cause of traffic congestion. This grant program helps local communities fund costly separation projects such as bridges or overpasses. The BIL provided $3 billion over 5 years for this program. The application period closed in October and USDOT is expected to announce roughly $600 million in awards in the coming months. 
  4. Port Infrastructure Development Program: Washington’s ports support over 71,000 direct and 175,000 indirect and induced jobs through international trade. Five critical ports in Washington state were awarded at total of $71.4 million. The five ports that received grants were the Port of Seattle, Port of Tacoma, Port of Grays Harbor, Port of Olympia, and Port of Port Angeles.
  5. Mega-Projects: Across the United States, there are a number of large projects that are too complicated and expensive for a single state or local government to handle alone, including the Interstate 5 Bridge over the Columbia River. To tackle these large projects, Sen. Cantwell authored the new Mega-Projects$5 billion grant program. The first round of awards is expected to be announced in the coming months.

Content Source: Office of Senator Maria Cantwell

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