Sen. Patty Murray Asks $3 Million Dollars for Tri-Cities Projects - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Sen. Patty Murray Asks $3 Million Dollars for Tri-Cities Projects

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TRI-CITIES, Wash.--The appropriations bill has three recipients. Senator Patty Murray has asked for $1 million dollars towards the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center, designed to showcase our area's environmental and cultural history.

"We're seeing the economy diversify," according to Sen. Murray. We're seeing some great opportunities to bring in new development and to really help people there celebrate the cultural and historical perspective that the region brings to not only our state, to our nation.

$1-million dollars has also been allocated for Ben Franklin Transit. Many of the buses introduced in 1988 are still on the roads today. And maintaining them is no longer realistic. The older models also make it difficult to accomodate riders with special needs.

"Not only are they more difficult to operate from a standpoint of finding parts and repairing them, but they also do not have wheelchair lifts on them, so their not accessible," says Transit Manager Ed Frost.

Greater accesibility on the railroad is what Port of Pasco needs. $900,000 dollars will help finish phase four of their Intermodel Rail Hub Development project. This will help larger rail carriers transport agricultural products like Hay Cubes from Tri-Cities to Tacoma.

"Some of the large steam ship lines have pulled out of the Port of Portland so, the only way to get their product economically to some of the west coast ports is now by rail so, we've gotta have the rail. Otherwise, we're sending more product by truck, which is very expensive," says Port of Pasco Planning Director, Randy Hayden.