The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has placed the final piece in the funding puzzle for Tacoma's D Street Overpass, announcing it will provide a $4 million grant for the $28 million project.
The economic impact the overpass – including increased rail and truck freight capacity
through the Port of Tacoma – served as the key reasons the EDA selected the FAST Corridor (Freight Action Strategy for the Seattle-Tacoma Corridor) project for federal funding.
East D Street is a major corridor for rail and truck freight and for people wanting to access the revitalized Thea Foss Waterway. Once completed, the D Street overpass will separate train and motor vehicle traffic by raising the roadway over the railroad tracks.
At an on-site funding presentation and celebration on August 27, FAST Corridor partners spoke to community leaders as trains and trucks rumbled by. "This overpass project will help the region's transportation and maritime trade industry succeed in a highly competitive West Coast market," Port of Tacoma Commissioner Jack Fabulich said. "The Port anticipates that 400 permanent, family wage jobs will be directly connected to the completion of this project, joining the 28,400 jobs in Pierce County already generated by Port activity."
The overpass will provide for realignment of the railroad tracks to ease the curve around the end of the Thea Foss Waterway – allowing train traffic to move at a higher speed. Vehicle traffic, which includes trucks, will no longer need to wait for the trains that presently close off D Street to traffic.
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, (D-Wash.) who serves on the Senate Commerce Committee
, pushed the EDA to expedite the project and respond to the Port of Tacoma's needs.