OLYMPIA – Former Speaker of the House Tom Foley spent 30 years representing his eastern Washington district in the U.S. House of Representatives. He eventually became the first Speaker from west of the Rocky Mountains. He helped secure over $289 million in federal funds for State Route 395 helping make transportation in eastern Washington safer and more efficient.
In honor of his lifetime commitment to Washington’s infrastructure needs, the House of Representatives passed a joint memorial requesting to name State Route 395 the “Thomas S. ‘Tom’ Foley Memorial Highway.” Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane) sponsored the memorial.
“Speaker Foley strongly believed that maintaining and improving our transportation infrastructure meant safer and more efficient travel. He knew good roads and highways were essential for our state’s future,” Riccelli said. “Many of the communities along the 395 corridor have already passed their own resolutions naming this highway in his honor.”
Proposals to name transportation infrastructure in Washington State go through the Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC). If Riccelli’s measure passes the state Senate, the WSTC will conduct a public hearing on it before taking action.
Speaker Foley passed away in 2013. During his career in public service, he also served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan.
“We should remember his life of public service. A career that 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,” Riccelli said.