McMorris Rodgers Celebrates the Completion of a Major Phase of the North South Freeway

 

Spokane, WA– Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) participated in the ribbon cutting of the Parksmith Interchange of the North South Freeway in Spokane, Washington today.  She joined other business and community leaders – in addition to many prominent transportation stakeholders – to celebrate the completion of this phase of the project.

“This celebration represents so much.  It is a celebration of innovation, expansion and advancement.  It is a celebration that has been decades in the making – and one that represents the great partnership between the federal and state governments,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers.  “The North South Freeway is an effective multimodal transportation system that will ultimately connect trade routes throughout all of Eastern Washington.  Its potential is endless and its benefits are innumerable.”

The completion of the Parksmith Interchange of the North South Freeway was a result of a $35 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) I grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.  The North South Freeway was the first project in the nation to be awarded two TIGER grants – and its completion represents the strong collaboration between the federal government and Washington State.  Upon its ultimate completion, the North South Freeway will be a 60-mile per hour, 10.5 mile-long limited access facility.  Its benefits include: reduced travel time by nearly two million hours each year, improved air quality for the Spokane metropolitan community, and lower gasoline usage by approximately 1.7 million gallons annually. 

“I’m proud that this is one of the few projects in the country that has been – and continues to be – truly ‘shovel-ready.’  At a time when the national unemployment rate hovers above 8 percent, the North South Freeway is creating jobs here in Spokane.  I will continue to work with the Department of Transportation to secure funding for the Freeway and see this project to completion.”

Rep. McMorris Rodgers has met with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood twice to ensure that Washington remained a top priority for transportation funding.  In April, she joined Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray in a letter urging Secretary LaHood to consider the WSDOT’s TIGER IV application for the next phase of the North South Freeway.

Participants in today’s ribbon cutting included: Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Spokane Mayor David Condon, WSDOT Regional Administration Keith Metcalf, WSDOT Secretary Paula Hammond, Washington House Transportation Committee Vice Chair Andy Billig, Spokane County Commission Chair Todd Mielke, Greater Spokane Incorporated President and CEO Rich Hadley, and Federal Highway Administration Division Administrator Dan Mathis.

 

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