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PSRC picks projects for further study

Some local transportation projects may get a major boost with federal funding. The Puget Sound Regional Council has chosen 119 projects in its four-county region as priority transportation projects that will be recommended for federal funding.

The projects for funding are a package deal, so if one receives funding, they all do. The funds are coming from the Federal Transit Administration and Federal Highway Administration.

“The recommendation process is always highly competitive; there are so many important projects and not enough funding to go around,” council member Richard McIver said in a prepared release. “Achieving consensus on how to distribute this funding is one of the primary responsibilities of the Puget Sound Regional Council. We have selected excellent programs to receive this funding.”

Seven of the projects are in Bremerton or Central Kitsap:

 Kitsap Transit may get $2 million for the purchase of small buses; $1.3 million for the Harper Church Park and Ride expansion; $400,000 for passenger only ferry support; and $250,000 for the SR 305 corridor plan.

 The Bremerton School District may receive $250,000 for Kitsap Lake Elementary School.

 Port of Bremerton may receive $100,000 for its SKIA access plan.

 The city of Bremerton may receive $900,000 improvements on Auto Center Way.

Now each project will have to have an air quality assessment and public hearings, said Karen Richter, a spokesperson for the PSRC. The projects, along with any public comment, will be returned to the executive board for final consideration in October. The funding will be available in January 2005.

The PRSC oversees policies about growth and transportation planning in Kitsap, King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. The agency awards about $150 million each year for transportation projects.

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