Thursday, April 11, 2013

SR-167 Completion Coalition Endorses Funding Plan for SR-167, SR-509

For Immediate Release                      
Thursday, April 11, 2013

For more information, contact Tim Thompson: 253-879-1250 

SR-167 Completion Coalition Endorses Funding Plan for SR-167, SR-509

Tacoma, Washington – The bipartisan SR-167 Completion Coalition fully endorses the funding proposal for the Puget Sound Gateway Project, saying “we can’t wait another year or another day.” 

To demonstrate commitment, SR-167 stakeholders have pledged to bring their own funds to the table to complement the large effort made by the state. Together, those funding streams are sufficient to complete SR-167 in appropriate phases that will create jobs, meet freight mobility needs, achieve congestion relief goals, and create the best possible environment for the Port of Tacoma to remain competitive.

The Coalition, convened by Congressman Denny Heck, has been committed to working with House Transportation Chair Judy Clibborn and the Washington State Department of Transportation to create a plan that fulfills a promise made more than 30 years ago by the state to complete SR-167. 

Congressman Heck believes they have done just that with the Puget Sound Gateway Project, “The Puget Sound Gateway Project and related revenue package are the single most important investments the State of Washington can make to retain and create jobs in the Puget Sound. The plan developed will provide a complete SR-167 and meet the goals set by the Completion Coalition. It is essential that we now support the State’s proposed revenue package to make sure SR-167 and projects like it are funded to completion.”

Technical teams from Pierce County and the Port of Tacoma led the redesign effort with the state Transportation Department.

“Together, we invested a tremendous amount of energy to find a solution that meets the Coalition’s needs,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “This revised SR-167 plan spends taxpayer money efficiently and effectively to keep our region competitive with ports in Mexico and Canada.”

Mayor Pete Lewis of Auburn mirrored the optimism of Congressman Heck when he stated. “This has been a collaborative effort between diverse groups to make sure the completion of SR-167 is a reality,” Lewis said. “I am calling upon the Governor, Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature to come together in a bipartisan manner as the Coalition did and pass a revenue package to build this project.”

The state Transportation Department estimates a completed SR-167 could create 80,000 permanent jobs. It would also create 948 direct construction jobs and up to 1,990 indirect jobs per year of construction.

Hundreds of business, labor, environmental, tribal and government organizations have advocated for the completion of SR-167 for years, said Tacoma Port Commissioner Dick Marzano, co-chairman of the Coalition. “It’s time to get this done.”


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