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FHWA 03-09Contact: Nancy Singer
Thursday, January 15, 2009Tel.: (202) 366-0660

U.S. Department of Transportation Signs Agreement with Washington State to Improve Efficiency Along the Border

WASHINGTON - Freight carriers traveling in and out of Canada will experience less frustration from congestion and will be better able to deliver goods where and when the market demands, thanks to an agreement with Washington state that will provide more accurate and reliable travel information on border wait times, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters announced today.

The Cascade Gateway Project will provide border-crossing wait time and travel condition information to drivers and freight carriers. The project would use a variety of innovative technologies, including sensors, to provide pre-trip and en-route wait times on crossing the border to reduce congestion at four Washington state ports of entry, Peace Arch, Pacific Highway, Lynden and Sumas.

"Providing accurate travel information is an essential tool for fighting congestion. With accurate information, travelers and freight carriers will be able to choose the time and route that is most efficient and best meets their needs," said Secretary Peters.

"With our economy faltering, it's critical that goods and products are moving efficiently through our Northern Border crossings," said Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee. "This agreement takes innovative steps that will allow freight carriers and drivers to make informed decisions that will reduce congestion along the Northern Border."

The project is part of the Department's Transportation Border Congestion Relief Program which is designed to facilitate and accelerate transportation-related capacity and operational improvements at border crossings. Washington State's Cascade program is one of the three projects included in the federal initiative.

"This project is a great example of how technology can be used to relieve congestion," said Federal Highway Administrator Tom Madison.

Secretary Peters added that as part of the congestion relief program, the project will receive priority access, consistent with current law, to many of the Department's assistance programs, including loans and other innovative financing mechanisms.

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