Local Information

New highway signs on US 395 honoring Tom Foley unveiled

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - 15:57

Beth Bousley, communications, 509-324-6015

Event commemorates renaming highway in eastern Washington

SPOKANE – Members of the Washington Legislature, the Washington State Transportation Commission, and local elected leaders were among those present to unveil a sign commemorating the renaming of US 395 as the Thomas S. "Tom" Foley Memorial Highway.

Tom Foley, a native of Spokane, represented Washington's 5th Congressional District from 1965 to 1995, and served as the Speaker of the House. While in Congress, he secured over $289 million in federal funds to improve safety and freight movement on US 395, which spans in Washington from the Canadian border to Oregon, including stretches in Spokane and the Tri-Cities.

"Speaker Foley was a great leader and champion for the community," said Spokane Mayor David Condon. "Representing the heart of eastern Washington in Washington D.C. for 30 years, he advocated for the Spokane that he believed we could be and, in many ways, the city we are today."

In honor of Foley's lifetime commitment to Washington's infrastructure needs, the state legislature passed a measure last session calling for adding the Foley name to the highway.

"Speaker Foley strongly believed in maintaining and improving our roads and highways to ensure safe and efficient travel now and into the future," said Riccelli. "Speaker Foley had a legacy of setting aside partisan differences to help the people of eastern Washington and our nation. This highway is the backbone of transportation in his home region. Naming this highway after him is a great way to honor his legacy,"

Renaming the highway
The Washington State Transportation Commission approved the resolution to name the highway for Foley in June. Commissioner Joe Tortorelli said the idea originated with a coalition of support from Ben Franklin County, the city of Spokane, and the State Good Roads Associations whose efforts gathering endorsements led to the joint memorial being considered by the legislature. The designation applies to the entire section of US 395 in Washington, which is maintained by the Washington State Department of Transportation.

"Following the commission's vote, we began installing the new signs in six locations along US 395," said WSDOT Regional Administrator Mike Gribner. "Signs were also simultaneously unveiled near Ritzville and the Tri-Cities."

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