Comment By Bob L.
There is no money to replace I5 Bridge at Mt. Vernon, but yet they can come up with money for Seattle, King County, and money to finish Completion of SR 167, from Puyallup to the Port Of Tacoma for a mere $1.27 billion.
What is wrong with this Picture, I call it a Waste of money when there are jobs that should be taken care of First, but they say they don’t have the money for these projects for lack of money.
They have been saying clear back in the Nineties that they were going to finish SR 167 route, why haven’t they done it, well for the same reason that they say they can not replace the I5 Bridge at Mt. Vernon, or other Bridges that should be replaced, NO MONEY, so where are they coming up with this $1.27 billion.
Any time the Government does not want some thing, they say they have no money, but when it comes to wasting money on some landmark on a street side or along the highway, a Fancy building for some Fancy Art Work, or a Light Show, even Fire Works, and we can not forget Two Dome Stadiums, and possible a Third, they can come up with a lot of money for that.
Completion of SR 167 receives momentum in special session
State Rep. Hans Zeiger and Sen. Bruce Dammeier hope the proposed $8.4 billion Transportation Revenue Package will receive bipartisan support by the time the special legislative session concludes next month.
“We’re pretty close to being able to pass something,” Zeiger said.
The Puyallup Republicans are especially excited about the inclusion of $1.27 billion earmarked for the Puget Sound Gateway project that includes the completion of state Route 167 to the Port of Tacoma.
Dammeier said he would like to expand that budget and strengthen the funding for the gateway project.
“The current proposal doesn’t have four lanes the entire way (on SR 167),” Dammeier said. “There is a small section that is only one or two lanes. My goal is to get four lanes all the way from Meridian into the Port of Tacoma. That is going to take more money than is currently in the proposal as it came out of committee.”
The revenue to support the transportation package is derived from a proposed 10 cent gas tax that many Republicans are against. Dammeier said he could support a gas tax if the gateway project is appropriately planned.
“Even though I’m normally against raising taxes, in that instance, I’m supportive,” Dammeier said. “I’m not willing to say I will vote yes, but I’m very favorable, as long as the completion (of SR 167) is in there in the right way.”
One aspect of the revenue package that some lawmakers are calling a “sticking point” is the proposal for a new bridge on Interstate 5 to connect Washington and Oregon across the Columbia River.
“I don’t think the proposal now for the bridge is appropriate,” Dammeier said. “It doesn’t reduce congestion and severely impacts the businesses that are upstream.”
Dammeier said that because the proposed bridge would be designed closer to the surface of the river, ship traffic would have a harder time getting goods into Washington.
“Four thousand jobs will be severely impacted,” he said.
Dammeier said he would like to see momentum to support reforms that would address the “horrific mismanagement in the Department of Transportation.”
“That will give legislators better confidence in casting their vote, knowing that there are reforms going on in the department and that taxpayer money will be used well and to good effect.”
In addition to championing the completion of SR 167, Zeiger has added an amendment to the transportation package that addresses a long-term study about the future expansion of SR 410 and SR 162 between Puyallup, Sumner and Orting. That amendment was put onto House Bill 1955 and passed out of committee, Zeiger said.
“With a lot of growth in our area, and with the completion of 167, we need to do some long-term planning for the 162