Press Releases

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.

 

Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that he is requesting funding for Fast Corridor and funds to purchase Pierce Transit additional buses.

Smith has been a strong supporter of the Fast Corridor projects since coming to Congress in 1997.

“Improving rail-street intersections will help alleviate traffic congestion throughout the Puget Sound region,” Smith said. “The Spokane Street viaduct improvement in Seattle and the Lincoln Avenue project in Tacoma are two important steps in the project.”

The FAST Corridor Program supports an ongoing partnership effort (1996 to present) between WSDOT, the Ports of Seattle, Tacoma and Everett, the Puget Sound Regional Council, a number of local jurisdictions, and two Class I private railroads. The first project, the Spokane Street viaduct improvement, is in the City of Seattle.  The second project, the Lincoln Avenue grade separation project is in Pierce County. The FAST partners propose $4.4M in funding for the Spokane Street Viaduct improvement project, which will fund final design and construction.  The FAST partners propose $5.2M in funding for the Lincoln Avenue grade separation project.  This amount will fund final construction for the project.

In a few years, Pierce Transit and Sound Transit will be constrained in providing additional bus service. Pierce Transit and Sound Transit have formed a partnership to provide regional transit service and are working cooperatively to fund this base expansion project. When the phased construction is completed, Pierce Transit will have the basic base infrastructure in place to meet Pierce County and regional transit service needs well into the future.

All environmental work has been completed and Pierce Transit is ready to proceed on final design for the East Base in 2005. Pierce Transit and Sound Transit are providing a substantial amount of local funds to this project and these funds will support the federal commitment to this project. Pierce Transit has already purchased the site for the expansion base with local funds. Additionally, Pierce Transit is ready to go to bid for the CNG buses.

Additionally, Pierce Transit is planning the purchase of 20 expansion buses over the next several years to accommodate planned service expansion. Eight are currently funded with FTA formula funds. This request would assist in funding the next expansion bus purchase.

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 has requested funding to improve State Route 167.

“State Route 167 is one of the most congested roads in the Puget Sound region, resulting in serious traffic delays for individuals and businesses,” Smith said. “It’s critically important to the economic growth of South King and Pierce counties that we improve this route.”

The requested funds will be used to accelerate the project by advancing design during the EIS on elements that are common to all alternatives. Improvements on SR 167 will provide significant travel-time savings for commuters and freight haulers in the corridor.  Currently SR 167 experiences six hours of congestion a day.  Without improvements, this could double by 2030.  SR 167 is a major freight corridor to the largest freight distribution center in the region providing a connection between the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma.  The corridor also has significant number of large manufacturing employers, including Boeing.

This new east-west link would parallel I-405 and improve access to one of the state's largest warehouse districts.  East-west links are infrequent, which forces trucks to take circuitous, time-consuming routes.  The increased travel efficiency this route provides reduces freight costs and brings goods to market sooner.

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 additional funding for transportation improvements in the City of Yelm.

“Yelm is a growing and thriving community in the Puget Sound region,” said Smith. “We need to continue to fund road improvements and transit improvements to help alleviate traffic and congestion in the area.”

Smith has requested funds for two specific projects: the City of Yelm 510/507 Loop and funding Intercity Transit.

The first project will include preliminary engineering and right-of-way acquisition for the northern portion of the 510|507 Loop. The Loop would provide an alternative route to the two existing State Highways that bisect Yelm and meet in the center of town. Traffic volumes are such that the intersection of SR 510 and 507 is presently at level of service F, with an anticipated increase of 91% by the year 2020. As the existing routes run through the center of town, it is not possible to expand these roads or to increase speeds in order to add capacity.

The second project will help Intercity Transit with their wish to purchase nine (9) buses to restore service lost as a result of a state-wide elimination of the motor vehicle excise tax in 1999.  This tax represented 42 percent of the organization’s annual operating revenue.  An equal amount of fixed route and ADA para-transit service was eliminated by 2000.  Local voters restored most of the lost tax in 2003 by increasing the local sales tax for transit.  If granted, the buses will be purchased and delivered within 18 months of federal budget adoption.

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