Gov. Chris Gregoire today said the federal high-speed rail money for Washington will provide 6,500 jobs in the state.
“These are going to be family wage jobs, up and down our biggest transportation corridor in our state,” Gregoire told reporters.
Officials learned Wednesday the state will get $590 million in stimulus funds (read the story here). They don’t yet know which projects the Obama administration has approved, state rail director Scott Witt said today, but he expects the list to include a planned 19.2-mile inland route to bypass Point Defiance and shave six minutes from the Seattle-Portland trip.
The Point Defiance Bypass work should start quickly, he said.
Gregoire said officials expect Amtrak will be able to add two more daily trips on the Seattle-Portland run, for a total of six.
They hope to speed up the trip until trains eventually run as fast as 110 mph, up from 79 mph now.