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.