$850 million available for FASTLANE infrastructure

The USDOT has announced another $850 million funding competition for FASTLANE program.

Thanks to the FASTLANE program, Seattle's Lander Street Overpass will be complete in 2020.

Thanks to the FASTLANE program, Seattle’s Lander Street Overpass will be complete in 2020.

New from the FAST Act, the program provides dedicated, discretionary funding for projects that address critical freight issues facing our nation’s highways and bridges.

The region was very successful in securing funding during the funding program’s inaugural grant cycle. The South Lander Street Grade Separation and Railroad Safety Project received $45 million and Strander Boulevard Extension and Grade Separation Phase 3 received $5 million.

This past summer, PSRC led a regional effort in close coordination with WSDOT to designate Critical Urban Freight Corridors, including strategic regional locations in the National Highway Freight Network specifically to even better compete in funding programs like this one.

The deadline for submitting applications is 8:00PM on December 15, 2016. The Department of Transportation will review all eligible applications submitted at http://www.grants.gov.

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Port of Everett wins funding for South Terminal project

Congratulations to the Port of Everett for capturing a $10 million TIGER grant to help modernize its South Terminal.

The Port of Everett helps transport all the oversized parts for the Boeing's 747, 767, 777, and K-C46 Tanker programs.

The Port of Everett helps transport oversized parts for the Boeing’s 747, 767, 777, and K-C46 Tanker programs.

This year’s TIGER grants focus on capital projects that generate economic development and improve access to reliable, safe and affordable transportation.

The Port of Everett’s project was the only project in Washington state to receive a TIGER grant in this round.

The funding will be used to improve transfer of cargo from ship to shore at the Port of Everett’s South Terminal.

The port will add an on-dock rail facility that allows cargo to be unloaded from larger ships and placed directly on trains within the terminal.

Another part of the port’s South Terminal project was just awarded an additional $3 million in PSRC funding.  That funding will support the  Diesel Emissions Reduction project that would electrify the port’s two mobile harbor cranes and provide shoreside electrical power for ships at berth– reducing emissions and noise affecting the nearby community.

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Critical urban freight corridors in the region

With the adoption of Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, a new feature of America’s surface transportation law is its emphasis on freight.

These routes could be designated by the Executive Board as Critical Urban Freight Corridors, which would make them eligible for new federal funding.

These routes could be designated by the Executive Board as Critical Urban Freight Corridors, which would make them eligible for new federal funding.

The new law establishes a new National Highway Freight Network and over the next five years will direct $6.3 billion in federal formula funding to states to invest in infrastructure and operations that improve the efficient movement of freight on that network.

Washington Senator Maria Cantwell championed the creation of the new funding source within the FAST Act.

PSRC is leading up the charge, in close coordination with WSDOT and the FAST Freight Advisory Committee, for the region to identify critical urban freight corridors to be included on the National Highway Freight Network in order to better compete for the new funding.

The recommendation includes routes in Everett, Seattle, Tukwila, Frederickson, and SKIA.

The Executive Board is scheduled to act on the recommendation on July 28.

In addition, the board will finalize the list of projects recommended to receive PSRC funding and enjoy a presentation on data trends in the region. See the full agenda for the meeting here.

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Feds announce FASTLANE freight funding program

A new competitive grant program created in the FAST Act will support road, rail and multimodal freight projects.

The FASTLANE program is the first-ever multimodal freight grant program focused on freight mobility.

The FASTLANE program is the first-ever multimodal freight grant program focused on freight mobility.

A total of $800 million in funding is available in fiscal year 2016.  The application deadline is April 14.

FASTLANE grants will provide funding for projects of national or regional significance including railway, seaport, and highway projects, such as highway-rail separations, to increase safety and reduce congestion.

Twenty-five percent of the $800 million will be reserved for rural projects, and 10 percent for smaller projects.

Freight mobility has been a top priority for Senator Maria Cantwell, who led efforts to develop the FASTLANE program.

“As the most trade dependent state in the nation, Washington relies on a network of ports, railways and roads to sell products around the globe…  For the first time, critical multimodal freight projects in Washington and across the U.S. are eligible for funding through this new grant program,” Cantwell said.

More information about FASTLANE is available on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s website:

How to apply 

Frequently Asked Questions

Notice of Funding Opportunity

DOT Webinar Series


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Super big ship in port!

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, the new cooperative shipping operations between the Seattle and Tacoma ports, is hosting the Benjamin Franklin on a test call to see how well the region’s port infrastructure can handle the new larger container ships.

The largest container ship to ever visit the United States is docked at Terminal 18, near West Seattle.

The largest container ship to ever visit the United States is docked at Terminal 18, near West Seattle.

The Benjamin Franklin is 18,000 TEUs, the largest ship to ever come to the U.S.

Container ships are getting bigger, generally up to 10,000 TEUs from 6,000 ten years ago.

The visit is designed to show the future competitiveness of the ports as ship sizes increase.

To date, Terminal 18 is the only facility of the Seaport Alliance’s that can handle an 18,000 TEU container ship. Plans to upsize Terminal 15 are in the works.

The Benjamin Franklin will be unloading electronic goods from China and loading agricultural products from eastern Washington.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance ports are the third-largest container gateway in North America and its marine cargo operations support more than 48,000 jobs.


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Feds seeking “transformative” freight projects

Get your freight project ready.

Pierce County is working on a big project to improve freight between Frederickson and the Port of Tacoma.

Pierce County is working on a big project to transform freight movement between Frederickson and the Port of Tacoma.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced the first guidance on a new federal grant program for freight.

A letter from Foxx outlines his direction.  A fact sheet provides current guidance.

The program was created within the FAST Act signed into law late last year.

Washington Senator Maria Cantwell, who led efforts to craft the program, spread the word today on the grants.

There’s $800 million available nationwide this year.

Grants will go to two categories of projects.

Projects that exceed $100 million in overall costs will be seeking grants for at least $25 million.

Ten percent of grant funds are set aside for smaller projects for grants of at least $5 million.

“My goal is to move expeditiously to fund promising freight and highway projects,” said Foxx, who is expected to select the first projects later this year following a 60 day review by Congress.


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Ultra large container ship in Puget Sound in February?

A new class of giant container ship pulled into the Port of Los Angeles this week—the largest ship ever to call on North America.


A new “big ship” arrived in California this week. Plans are underway to handle “big ships” simultaneously at ports on Puget Sound. (Photo credit: Port of Los Angeles)

The Northwest Seaport Alliance says it could check out Puget Sound—and dock at the Port of Seattle—sometime in February.

The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin is 1,300 feet long, 177 feet wide and has the capacity of nearly 18,000 containers.

The News Tribune has the complete story about the ship’s sail up the West Coast.

An environmental review is underway on plans to get the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 “big ship ready.”

Plans call for the terminal to be able to handle two of the 18,000-container ships simultaneously – including heavier cranes and the ability to handle deeper drafts.

When the terminal went out of service last year, its capacity was one 6,000-container ship.

Test pile driving for the planned improvements is expected to start in January.

 “Upgrading Terminal 5 to handle larger vessels is critical to creating new maritime and industrial jobs for the region,” said Stephanie Bowman, co-president of the Port of Seattle, a partner in the alliance with the Port of Tacoma. “As part of our commitment to the community, we will carefully study the environmental impacts of the terminal improvements.”