Gov. Jay Inslee joined state and local officials at the Port of Tacoma to help The Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) kick off the construction phase on the Puget Sound Gateway Program.
The Gateway Program includes two projects — SR 167 completion in Pierce County and SR 509 completion in King County — new connections to the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma and manufacturing and industrial centers that will enhance the state's national and global economic competitiveness.
"These two projects will help Washington state stay competitive in the global marketplace by providing critical ‘last mile' connections between one of the nation's largest distribution centers and the ports of Tacoma and Seattle," said Inslee. "This is exactly the kind of smart investment we need to make to address our transportation priorities because it pays dividends that include thousands of new jobs, easier access to our ports for Washington state products, and more transportation choices."
SR 167 in Pierce County
SR 167 serves as a primary highway connection between the Kent and Puyallup River valleys and the Seattle/Bellevue metropolitan area. Currently, the highway terminates at Meridian Road in Puyallup. WSDOT will build 4 mi. of new highway to complete the missing link between SR 167 in Puyallup and I-5 in Fife. The SR 167 Project also includes a new a 2-mi. connection from I-5 to the Port of Tacoma.
SR 509 in King County
Extending SR 509 will increase connectivity between Seattle and south King County and also provide a much-needed north-south alternative to I-5. Additionally, the SR 509 extension will create a new southern access point to Sea-Tac International Airport and serve as an alternative to I-5, SR 99, and local streets.
"By completing SR 167 and SR 509, we are closing two of the state's major transportation gaps. But these aren't just WSDOT projects," said Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar. "Eighteen local jurisdictions want to see these projects completed and have shown their support by contributing $130 million toward their construction."
The majority of Puget Sound Gateway Program funding comes from the 2015 Connecting Washington transportation revenue package. Additional funding will come from tolls, local contributions, and potential federal grants.
Gateway Program construction is divided into two stages; stage 1 projects will be constructed between 2020 and 2026 and stage 2 projects will be constructed between 2024 and 2028.