Tuesday, May 28, 2013

167 & 509 Groups Call for Bi-Partisan Transportation Leaders to Act Now

The members of the SR-167 Completion Coalition and the SR-509 Stakeholder Group are calling upon each member of the King and Pierce County delegations to jointly support the Transportation Revenue Package and fund the two projects that have over 40 years of planning, design work, and NEPA analysis behind them.  Further, the groups are calling upon Representative Laurie Jinkins, Representative Dave Upthegrove, Senator Bruce Dammeier, and Senator Joe Fain to assemble both delegations to meet this week and come to a bi-partisan agreement that they will not go home until the Transportation Revenue Package is passed.

The groups stated the time has come for Legislators to put aside their differences and act on the Transportation Revenue Package.  The groups emphasized the need for leadership on the part of the King and Pierce County Legislators.

The SR-509 and SR-167 groups said the collapse last night of the Interstate 5 Bridge over the Skagit River should serve as a wake-up call for action on a comprehensive transportation package now – and that such a package should become more comprehensive to address not only critical projects such as the “Gateways” completion but additional bridge repair, maintenance and preservation as well.

John Parrott, president of Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Inc expressed the views of the group when he stated, “With full sensitivity to those affected by the I-5 bridge collapse over the Skagit River, the need is clear, and our leadership in Olympia must take this opportunity to invest in our transportation infrastructure.  There simply is no more time for excuses, we must act now to protect our jobs, improve freight mobility, stay competitive and avoid what occurred on the Skagit River. We will accept nothing less this year.  Forty years is long enough to wait.”

Members of the coalitions support legislative action now to move Washington state forward and complete these highways, improve freight mobility and job growth, and build modern transportation infrastructure with critical redundancies for safety and reliability.

Click here to read a related News Tribune editorial "SR 167: A job-creating bridge waiting to be built."

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