Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Everett Station Grand Opening
February 4, 2002

Thank you for that kind introduction, Ed (Hansen). This is a great day for Everett and the Puget Sound region.

I was honored to attend the Everett Station groundbreaking in July of 2000, and I’m delighted to return and witness the fruition of your efforts -- an extraordinary facility for our new century. Wow!

The steel and masonry of Everett station signify history in full circle: More than a century ago, investors such as Charles Colby and Henry Hewitt envisioned a thriving port fixed on a freshly cleared landscape. Shingle mills dotted the waterfront of Port Gardner Bay as mill workers and Norwegian immigrants laid down their roots. But Everett never became the celebrated terminus of the Great Northern Railroad, and investors such as John D. Rockefeller pulled up stakes and moved on. But, Everett survived, becoming a community of devoted and hard-working souls.

Few residents of Snohomish County can still recall the “Interurban,” Everett’s first passenger rail system, which shuttled commuters from Everett to Seattle. That was from 1910 to 1939. With Everett Station, we’re “back to the future.”

But Everett has always been in the transportation vanguard: This year marks the centennial of the first motorcar in Everett. The ankle-deep mud of Broadway gave way to pavement, which gave way to a river of cars, which gave way to gridlock!

We also stand near the spot where President Harry Truman campaigned in 1948 and where General Dwight D. Eisenhower spoke in 1952. Today we write a new chapter in the history of this city.

Everett Station will be a focal point for multi-modal transportation: Local transit, regional transit, commuter trains, Amtrak, Trailways, Greyhound. It also testifies to the value and power of regional partnerships. It reflects that great work and leadership of Everett Transit, Community Transit and Sound Transit. Two grants from our Washington State Transportation Improvement Board provided $4 million for this project.

Everett Station will be more than a transportation hub -- it will be a destination point. It will also be a higher education center for job training and graduate courses offered by the UW, Western and Central. Now, in the event that you’re not ready for a final exam, you’ll be able to hop a rail and race out of town fast!

This county understands the urgency of our transportation mess. Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel and Everett Mayor Ed Hansen have led the way, championing transportation solutions such as the Snohomish Corridor Action Plan or “SnoCAP.” Bob and Ed: I am grateful for your leadership and vision.

With all the debate about how to address our transportation problems, Everett Station is a striking example of how work should be done -- on time and on budget, and working in partnership with federal, state and local governments, along with our various transit agencies.

I’m looking forward to touring Everett Station, especially the Kenneth Callahan murals donated by the Weyerhaeuser Company. These murals celebrate this region’s labor heritage. They contrast with the station’s modern architecture, but they are symbolic of the “spirit of Everett.” Because the soil of this town is consecrated with the sweat and labor of a proud and dedicated people.

This is a great day for a great city. Congratulations to all of you.
Related Links:
- Locke celebrates opening of Everett Station, calls for action on a statewide transportation plan
- Everett Station
- City of Everett
- Snohomish County
- Everett Transit
- Sound Transit
- Community Transit
- Washington State Transportation Improvement Board
- University of Washington
- Central Washington University
- Western Washington University

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