The state of Washington was awarded $3.2 million by the United States Department of Transportation. Currently in the Pacific Northwest, some of the most congested roads in the entire country are stacked everyday in Oregon and Washington moving from suburbia into city centers like Eugene and Seattle. As it is right now, nearly 25% of working people in the Northwest travel rail from Eugene (Oregon) to Vancouver (Washington) on a daily basis.
The $3.2 million is going to be put towards the Mount Vernon siding extension project. This project is working towards substantially improving rail capacity and reducing the current bottleneck situation that is such a pain for citizens everyday. The bottleneck that exists comes about because freight and passenger trains on the Amtrak Cascades service currently share a rail. When they are both operating, idle time for one of them is necessary. The Mount Vernon project extends these rails, and gives them each there own to operate.
In addition to current issues in The Pacific Northwest, studies show that the population is looking in grow by 40% by the year 2050. This project is so vital not only for the current state, but also for the future.