Friends and neighbors –
Continuing from last week, this joint email update highlights projects included in the initial Transportation Budget passed by the House. Transportation projects are vitally important for economic growth and improving mobility throughout the region. While this is not the final list of projects (the list is yet to be negotiated and passed in the final Transportation Budget), we are excited that these are funded in the initial House Transportation budget. Other projects we supported are not included due to limited funding.
Proposed transportation budget projects in the region
The proposed House Transportation Budget is a $9.9 billion investment in new and expanded roads, as well as ferries, bridges, culverts, railways, rail projects, and bike and pedestrian infrastructure. Nearly $190 million of that funding affects our district and nearby communities. Projects include:
- $339 million for I-5 improvements: Significant expansion and improvement of I-5 is needed to help relieve congestion in our region. We’re supporting expansion of the Tacoma-area corridor, JBLM corridor improvements that include a new lane between Thorne Lane and the Mounts Road Interchange along with interchange replacements and connector roads, and a new study to determine corridor expansion from Mounts Road to Tumwater.
- A planned $57.6 million payment to defer all sales tax payments on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge: Stopping rising tolls on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge has been a priority for Rep. Kilduff for years. This payment is for the deferred sales tax on construction of the bridge, cutting down on the need for increased tolls over the next 13 years.
- Almost $8 million for Tacoma Narrows Bridge maintenance: We are also supporting additional funding for maintenance and repairs for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
- Nearly $5 million for pedestrian and bike projects: In order to facilitate safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, we are supporting a $5 million investment for sidewalks, trails, overcrossings, and improved shoulders. That includes sidewalks, curb ramps, and accessible signals at crosswalks in Tacoma, sidewalk maintenance in DuPont, and sidewalks and bicycle lanes and street lighting in Lakewood. These projects are all part of the “Safe Routes to School” program from WSDOT.
- $4 million for DuPont-Steilacoom Road Improvements: Funding for this project contributes to widening the DuPont Steilacoom Road, adding a lane in each direction from Wharf Road to north of Station Drive.
- $1 million for the Titlow Rail Bridge Culvert Improvement: The Titlow Lagoon is one of many projects listed as a high priority for salmon recovery efforts. This funding is needed for final design and permitting efforts to make the project construction ready.
- $360,000 for railroad crossing improvements: This funding provides for train noise mitigation measures at the 6th avenue/Titlow & S 19th street railroad crossings. It also includes pedestrian and vehicle gates and sidewalk and roadway improvements.
These critical investments in transportation infrastructure will reduce congestion and improve the quality of life for people in our district and region, and we will continue to advocate for them throughout and until we pass a final Transportation Budget. In the meantime, please let us know if you have any thoughts or ideas to share. It is our honor to serve you.