[7/11/22] Last Friday, July 8th, Chamber staff including CEO Andrea Reay joined the Washington State Department of Transportation to break ground on the SR 167 Completion Project. This project is part of the Puget Sound Gateway Program, which also includes a completion project for SR 509 in King County and has the goal to "complete two major unfinished highways in the Puget Sound region to create new connections to Interstate 5, the ports of Tacoma and Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport," according to WSDOT. The SR 167 Completion Project will, among other things, create 6 new miles of highway between Puyallup and the Port of Tacoma. According to WSDOT, "Completing this unfinished highway will greatly benefit the movement of freight, improve safety and reduce congestion on local roads and highways in the surrounding area."
Chamber CEO Andrea Reay was among the distinguished guests who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony. She celebrated the achievement of the project in her remarks, stating:
"This project is a regional success and collective win for all in our region. Here in the South Sound, we are the makers and the movers for the State of Washington. Our economic ecosystem depends on our ability to swiftly and predictably move people and goods throughout the Puget Sound. Today marks not only a key milestone in our ability to strengthen and secure accessibility for our multi-modal transportation and logistics infrastructure, but access and equitable economic development as well—with a projected workforce impact of 80,000 jobs. Both directly and indirectly, this increase in family-wage jobs can and will be part of building generational wealth for our community here in the South Sound."
Hear Andrea's full remarks from the event.
Other speakers at the ceremony included WSDOT Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar, Senior Transportation Policy Advisor for Governor Jay Inslee Debbie Driver, Washington State Representative Jake Fey, Washington State Senator Marko Liias, Fife City Councilmember Pat Hulcey, Port of Tacoma Commissioner Dick Marzano, and Senior Vice President for Atkinson Construction Bob Adams.
Following the speakers, guests in attendance were invited to help pot native plants and trees that will be included in the Riparian Restoration Program, a major component of the SR 167 Completion Project that will benefit the environment.
When complete, the project will have created a new 2-mile expressway between I-5 and SR 509 near the Port of Tacoma,
a shared-use path parallel to the highway for non-motorized travel (walking, bicycling, etc.) between I-5 and SR 509 near Tacoma, a diverging diamond interchange over I-5 in Fife that will connect the new SR 167 to I-5, and approximately 150 acres of wetland, stream and environmental restoration that will improve native fish runs and encourage the return of wildlife to the area.
Benefits of the project include improved freight connections, better regional mobility, increased multimodal connections, environmental enhancements, updates in intelligent transportation, and regional job and economic growth.
Learn more about the SR 167 Completion Project and the Puget Sound Gateway Program from the Washington State Department of Transportation in this article and project overview.
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