The Suburban Times
New State Transportation Budget to Improve I-5, DuPont-Steilacoom Road and more

Drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians will see new projects along their daily commute thanks to significant investments in the state Transportation Budget. $414 million is allocated for 28th District projects over the next decade, including I-5 improvements near Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Tacoma Narrows Bridge sales tax deferral.

The state Transportation Budget funds transportation-related projects all across Washington and was approved by a bipartisan vote of 96-2 on Sunday. Reps. Christine Kilduff and Mari Leavitt, D-University Place, advocated for a variety of projects, including:

  • $332 million for I-5 improvements including a new lane between Thorne Lane and the Mounts Road Interchange.
  • A planned $57.6 million payment to defer all sales tax payments on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to cut down on the need for increased tolls over the next 13 years.
  • Almost $8 million for Tacoma Narrows Bridge maintenance.
  • $4 million for DuPont-Steilacoom Road lane construction in both directions.
  • $2 million for curb, gutter, sidewalk, and street lighting along Veterans Drive and Vernon Ave for the Lake City Business District.
  • $1 million for railroad crossing improvements at train noise mitigation at the 6th avenue/Titlow & South 19th street railroad crossings.

“The bipartisan, cooperative approach to how we get Washington moving is an example of what can be done when lawmakers work together,” said Kilduff. “Our region will see increased jobs, economic vitality, and families able to get to where they are trying to go safely. I am especially pleased that once again the Legislature has recognized the value in keeping tolls on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge from going up.”

I-5 improvements to add lanes near JBLM should reduce chronic traffic congestion through the corridor, with safer interchanges and improved traffic flow.

“Commuters to and from JBLM need the new lanes to cut down on their travel times and move around the county,” said Leavitt. “The highway, roadway, and pedestrian and bicycle projects in our region provide pathways for families to get where they need to go, how they want to get there. Projects like the DuPont-Steilacoom road improvement project will take big steps toward relieving congestion for local commuters.”

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