The City of Aberdeen was awarded $2.08 million for our US-12 Highway-Rail Separation Project, from the very competitive Federal “RAISE” Grant program. The grant will allow the City to complete the planning phase of the project, which will eliminate three at-grade rail crossings that currently separate Highway 12 from the City’s main commercial area. It will also reduce delays to the Port of Grays Harbor. Currently, US-12 carries 28,000 vehicles per day, and trains can block the seven at-grade crossings in the corridor for up to 30 minutes per train. The rail crossings also delay truck traffic to the Port of Grays Harbor, which supports approximately 1,500 jobs. With completion of the planning phase, the City will be eligible to apply for future grant programs including those created by the recent passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
“I very much want to thank Senator Cantwell, Senator Murray, and Congressman Kilmer for all their hard work and ongoing efforts to deliver federal funding for this critical stretch of Highway 12 in downtown Aberdeen,” said Mayor Schave. All of our Federal Representatives have made direct requests on our behalf to advance this project through Congress and the Department of Transportation’s Grant process, and I am grateful for their partnership and support.”
“This investment will produce real results through this pivotal freight corridor, not only for the City of Aberdeen, but across our region’s economy. I will continue to push for investments that help our transportation infrastructure become more efficient, safer, and produce benefits for our entire community, and I look forward to working with our outstanding federal partners to accomplish these goals.”
“This project will greatly improve the US -12 freight corridor by developing our rail infrastructure to provide for lasting growth into the future,” said Mayor Winkelman. I am thankful to Senator Cantwell, Senator Murray, and Congressman Kilmer for their attention to this project and their ongoing partnership with the City of Hoquiam.”
“Freight mobility is central to advancing our economy and sustaining efficient rail movement between the Port and our City. I appreciate our Federal Delegation’s ongoing collaboration on these efforts and applaud our joint efforts in securing this grant.”
“This grant will help eliminate three highway-rail grade crossings along a critical stretch of Highway 12 in downtown Aberdeen that cut the community in half. It will improve safety and reduce congestion for freight bound for the Port of Grays Harbor,” said Senator Cantwell. “With each train blocking access to Olympic Gateway Plaza for up to half an hour, this project is sorely needed to reduce delays and ensure emergency vehicles can access the area.” In July, Senator Cantwell joined colleagues in sending a letter of support for the grant to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. In June, she visited Aberdeen to talk about funding for rail crossings improvements with local leaders.
Senator Cantwell, in her position as Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, helped secure $7.5 billion for the RAISE program – a 50% annual increase – in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), signed into law yesterday by President Biden.
“The federal support for this project will mean safer streets and less traffic for the people of Aberdeen. Removing these highway-rail crossings will also help move goods more quickly in and out of the Port of Grays Harbor, supporting the local economy and bolstering our supply chains,” said Senator Murray. “I created the RAISE program to help make infrastructure projects like this one a reality, and as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’m going to keep working to get Washington state the federal infrastructure support it needs.”
The award comes following Senator Murray sending a letter of support for the project to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg in July.
“Folks who live in or have visited Aberdeen know all too well what it’s like to be stuck in traffic as a train rolls through town. Unfortunately, the lack of rail separation has created congestion, restricted emergency access to the region’s primary commercial area, and exacerbated safety concerns. That’s why I’ve been working to secure federal investments for the City of Aberdeen’s US 12 Highway-Rail Separation Project, which aims to improve the flow of freight and people in Aberdeen,” said Rep. Kilmer. “I’m thrilled that the city has been awarded this RAISE grant from the Department of Transportation and will keep pushing to secure federal funding that will help Grays Harbor County rebuild essential infrastructure, reduce congestion, and revitalize local economies.”
Congressman Kilmer officially requested funding for this project through the House Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill, and sent a letter of support for the project to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.