Press Releases

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that he is requesting funding for the Marine Science and Technology program run by Highline Community College.

“It is exciting that a college in our community will have the only saltwater pier in the country that can be used for scientific research,” said Smith. “Located in the Redondo neighborhood, this waterfront facility will be on the leading edge of maritime research and will provide an invaluable tool not only to the students at Highline Community College but the center will provide hands-on learning to local residents as well.”

The center will provide opportunities for our community in the areas of environmental health, science, and technology education.  The MaST’s programs will increase environmental health awareness, literacy, and promote stewardship of environmental and business related health issues.  Training will include topics such as urban water quality, preserving marine dependent habitats, and minimizing ecological impacts of toxins released in the water.  The facility will be used to promote science and technology education to K-12, community college students, and community members, while providing training opportunities in science and technology to K-12 teachers.

Smith requested funding through the 2005 Labor, Health and Human Service, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. It is expected that this bill will be finalized before Congress adjourns this year.

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that he is requesting funding for the Rural Information Technology Jobs Initiative, which it is estimated that it will create 50 new jobs per year in rural communities in Washington state.

“The advances in technology have helped our economy enormously, but there’s more we can do,” Smith said. “We need to make sure all regions of the country, including our rural communities, are benefiting from the economic growth and job creation technology can help provide. The Rural Information Technology Jobs Initiative will help create good jobs in rural communities.

The goals of this initiative are to strengthen and diversify the economy of disadvantaged rural communities by creating information-based jobs, raise the technology skills level of workers in rural America, and reduce our dependence on skilled workers offshore.  It will also build the capacity of rural communities to continue creating jobs on their own in the future.

Smith requested funding through the 2005 Commerce, Justice, State, Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. It is expected that this bill and its funding will be finalized before Congress adjourns this year.

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that he has requested funding for the Shaw Road extension in Puyallup.

“Improving rail-road intersections is an important part of improving our region’s traffic and congestion problems,” Smith said. “The Puyallup area is a growing and thriving community in the Puget Sound region, and it’s important that we make improvements such as the Shaw Road extension.”

This project involves creating a link between Shaw Road at its current terminus at Pioneer Way, NW across the BNSF Railroad tracks, and then connecting with East Main Street.  This would be accomplished via an elevated grade separation of the BNSF tracks.  This project will address longstanding deficiencies in cross-track movements in the area.  The project will complement other area projects, including rail upgrades in anticipation of safety and movement improvements planned to facilitate anticipated Sound Transit passenger rail service.  This has been identified as a priority improvement within the FAST Corridor.  Preliminary studies and environmental work is done.  Some right of way has been acquired.  Selection of a preferred alignment is expected by the end of the year.

Smith requested funding through the 2005 Transportation, Treasury and Independent Organizations Appropriations bill. It is expected that this bill will be finalized before Congress adjourns this year.
 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced his funding request to bring traffic relief to the Federal Way Area through improvements to interchanges for State Route 18 and State Route 99.

“The Federal Way area experiences enormous traffic congestion every day,” Smith said. “These projects would improve major routes in Federal Way and provide commuting families with some relief.”

The first project would address 11 Washington State Department of Transportation (WASDOT) designated High Accident Locations, and is the location of significant recurrent congestion, lasting up to 8 hours daily in some locations. This interchange is between two National Highway System facilities.  SR 18 provides an important link between the Port of Tacoma and eastern Washington and points east, and the importance of I-5 for freight traffic is evident by observing truck volumes at the weigh stations just south of the project vicinity. 

The second project would widen South 272nd Street between Pacific Highway South (SR-99) and Military Road to add one HOV lane in each direction, a left-turn lane at Star Lake Road, right-turn and left-turn lanes at the I-5 on-ramps, right-turn lanes at Military Road, curbs, gutters and sidewalks, illumination system and new signal systems at all intersections.  Existing embankments under the I-5 bridges will need to be excavated and retaining walls installed in order to accommodate the additional lanes under I-5.  This project will connect HOV lanes on Pacific Highway South (SR-99) with HOV lanes on I-5, and, it will connect three park and ride lots which have a total of 1300 parking spaces. Final design work is expected to start in January 2005.  Construction is proposed to begin in March 2006 and be completed by December 2006.

Smith requested funding through the 2005 Transportation, Treasury and Independent Organizations Appropriations bill. It is expected that this bill will be finalized before Congress adjourns this year.

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that he is requesting funding for a new community center in Bethel.

“Our military families are under enormous duress, and for those families living near McChord and Fort Lewis, the problem is worsened due to the fact that there are no city services,” said Smith. “The Bethel Community Center would provide services such as continuing education, job training, technology access, and a senior center, to military families and all Bethel residents.”

This project would provide a cost effective means to badly needed services for a large rural/suburban area (2,045 square miles with 93,000 residents) that has no city government, nor city services. This area, immediately adjacent to Ft. Lewis Army Base and McChord Air Force Base, is characterized as low income, a large military population, rapid growth and very limited social/health/human services. The project would maximize funding through multiple uses of this facility to provide the following functions: a community center; teen center; senior center; community technology access center; continuing education center; job training center; water safety instruction; physical (hydro) therapy and a center for Native American cultural contributions.

Smith requested funding through the 2005 Labor, Health and Human Service, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. It is expected that this bill will be finalized before Congress adjourns this year.