Washington State Legislature’s passed a $16.2 billion transportation investment package that ports of Tacoma and Seattle say will benefit the state’s economy by speeding the movement of cargo through the ports and freight corridors.
The ports, business and community leaders have been advocating for funding to complete the key freight routes of State Route 509 in King County and State Route 167 in Pierce County
, which are supported in the package.
“The transportation system outside our terminal gates is critical to maintaining our competitive edge,” said Port of Tacoma Commission President Don Johnson. “Completing state routes 167 and 509 will keep and grow jobs throughout Washington state.”
The Washington State Department of Transportation estimates a completed SR 167 could fuel job growth to the tune of $10.1 billion.
“Washington farmers, manufacturers and businesses of all sizes need an efficient transportation system to reach global markets,” said Port of Seattle Commission
co-President Courtney Gregoire. “This package means jobs and economic development across our state.”
The completion of SR 509 will allow for development of more than 5 million square feet of office, retail
and commercial space totaling nearly $700 million in new construction, according to studies commissioned by the Port of Seattle and cities of SeaTac and Des Moines.
The transportation package also includes a number of other investments to move cargo faster to and from the ports, including improvements on Interstate 5 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and on Interstate 90 in Snoqualmie Pass, the ports said. In total, the state will invest nearly $3.25 billion in projects service the Puget Sound gateway.