Friday, April 19, 2013

Chamber Joins Panel Advocating Transportation Package

Tom Pierson, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber President & CEO spoke on businesses’ behalf as part of the SR-167 Completion Coalition at the House Transportation Hearing today.

Speaking from his past experience both in the public and private sectors, Pierson stated, “There is no other project on the table today that can compete with the economic development potential of the completion of SR167/HWY509.”
Other points Pierson reiterated were that as proposed, the Puget Sound Gateway project meets businesses’ current needs and will meet the region’s needs far into the future; that the state Transportation Department estimates a completed SR-167 could create 80,000 permanent jobs, along with 948 direct construction jobs and up to 1,990 indirect jobs per year of construction.

“Our business community has thrown their support behind this project and necessary funding package because the projected benefits from this investment are vital to solidifying the competitiveness of our region,” Pierson said.

Pierson also pointed out that business and labor have come together for what they see as a common goal by deciding not to concentrate on what commonly divides them, but instead, being weary of the matter, decided to work on getting something built together. 

“In this spirit, I would ask that the House Transportation Committee set aside any partisan issues and rally to support this package and the needed revenue to pay for it.  The time to act is now and we cannot afford more empty promises or good intentions.  We need this project built as fast as possible to meet current needs,” Pierson said.

Other representatives from the SR-167 Coalition who spoke at the Hearing were Todd Iverson from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 23, Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, Tacoma City Mayor Marilyn Strickland, City of Auburn Mayor Pete Lewis and Port of Tacoma CEO John Wolfe.

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