House Advances Federal Funding for Grays Harbor Infrastructure Priorities

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the INVEST in America Act, a comprehensive infrastructure package that aims to make transformational investments in highways, roads, bridges, transit, rail, and water infrastructure.

Representative Derek Kilmer states that this is consistent with President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, legislation that seeks to create good-paying jobs, modernize the nation’s infrastructure, and reduce carbon pollution.

“Investing in infrastructure can put people to work now and lay the foundation for jobs and economic opportunity over the long haul,” said Rep. Kilmer. “Importantly, both the INVEST in America Act and the House Appropriations Committee included initiatives that will help Grays Harbor County rebuild essential infrastructure, reduce congestion, and revitalize local economies. The cost of these efforts shouldn’t fall on the backs of taxpayers in Grays Harbor. The federal government ought to help. I’ll keep working to get these initiatives signed into law.”

The legislation also included funding for two initiatives led by Rep. Kilmer (WA-06) that provide support to infrastructure projects to improve US 12 in Grays Harbor County.

Funding was included for the Heron Street Bridge Rehabilitation Project as well as the US 12 Highway-Rail Separation Project, long a priority for the Port of Grays Harbor and the City of Aberdeen

“We want to thank Congressman Kilmer for being the federal champion for flood control in Grays Harbor. These flood measures will ensure the people, businesses, and environment in our region will be protected from potential flood hazards and destruction,” said Aberdeen Mayor Pete Schave.

“The Port of Grays Harbor is extremely pleased to see these local, critical infrastructure projects receive this robust level of funding and we thank Congressman Kilmer for his understanding of our community’s needs and hard work in helping to secure these funds,” shared Port of Grays Harbor Commission President Stan Pinnick. “These important projects will benefit our community for years to come as we continue to work to bring jobs, private investment and opportunity to Grays Harbor.”

The INVEST in America Act includes $2,200,000 for the Washington Department of Transportation’s US 12 Heron Street Bridge Tier 1 Bridge Rehabilitation Project, which aims to replace the current aging bridge with a two-lane, one-way span bridge. The Heron Street Bridge, which was built in 1949, carries 14,000 daily trips on average across the Wishkah River.

The INVEST in America Act also includes $2,080,000 for the City of Aberdeen’s US 12 Highway-Rail Separation Project, which aims to improve the flow of freight and people in Aberdeen. The half mile section of US Highway 12 at the eastern entrance of Aberdeen experiences frequent congestion, accidents, and restricted emergency access to the region’s primary commercial area due to conflicts created by heavy vehicular traffic and freight trains that pass through the area blocking all seven at-grade vehicle-rail crossings between US 12 and the region’s commercial and recreational area.

“Add these federal resources to the already secured funding we’ve received from our State Legislature, and we are very close to beginning construction on these needed projects. We are very fortunate to have the Congressman’s leadership and look forward to working with him to secure these funds in the final federal budget,” said Hoquiam Mayor Ben Winkelman. “It seems the careful planning and preparation for this project will soon have a dramatic impact on our area as construction begins. We are all grateful and excited to get the news and get to work.”

In addition, the House Appropriations Committee advanced a $9.95 million funding proposal for the Aberdeen-Hoquiam Flood Protection Project, which aims to provide coastal flood protection and improve the storm drainage systems in the cities of Aberdeen and Hoquiam.

This will help the region more effectively collect and convey runoff from intense storm events, and significantly reduce the economic burden caused by flooding for the communities.

The funding was included in the House Appropriations Homeland Security spending bill that passed out of the Subcommittee.