(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Representatives Norm Dicks (D-WA-06) and Adam Smith (D-WA-09) applauded the announcement by the Department of Defense that the City of Lakewood will be awarded a $5.7M grant for a transportation project to improve medical access to Madigan Army Medical Center.
“I’m proud to fight to make sure that our men and women in uniform and their families can access the medical facilities they need in a timely and efficient manner,” said Senator Murray. “That’s why I worked to help secure these funds, and I’m so glad that Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be able to start this long overdue project.”
“Madigan Army Medical Center is one of the busiest hospitals in the Pacific Northwest, providing critical care to our brave men and women in uniform in a six-state region,” said Senator Cantwell. “The successful operation of this state-of-the-art medical facility depends on modernized and efficient transportation infrastructure that alleviates congestion around Joint Base Lewis McChord. I was proud to support this investment, which will improve vital medical access to this technologically advanced facility for our military community. The men and women who serve our country deserve access to the quality health care they have earned.”
“These tangible improvements are expected to significantly reduce the delays that Madigan patients and JBLM employees experience entering and leaving the base, particularly at peak hours,” said Representative Dicks, who serves as the ranking Democratic Member of the House Appropriations Committee and its Defense Subcommittee.
“Working to reduce congestion around Joint Base Lewis-McChord is a priority to my District,” said Representative Smith, who serves as the ranking Democratic Member of the House Armed Services Committee. “This investment is a step in the right direction that will have a positive impact on our local community, though much more needs to be done and I will continue to make this a top priority. I congratulate the City of Lakewood for putting together a quality proposal and for their work with partners in the region to secure this funding.”
The infrastructure improvements were funded as part of a $300 million package of upgrades to military medical facilities approved earlier this year by Congress, helping to ease congestion at Madigan Army Medical Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and other defense-related hospitals.
The funding will allow the City of Lakewood to complete the Madigan Hospital Access Improvement Project, which involves:
- Adding a third lane to the Berkeley Street overpass;
- Adding a second left turn lane to the Interstate-5 southbound off-ramp;
- Upgrading and coordinating traffic signals at the I-5 northbound ramp, the I-5 southbound ramp and Union Avenue;
- Adding a second receiving lane from the Berkeley Street overpass into JBLM;
- Improving lane configurations and widening on Berkeley Street and Union Avenue to improve overall efficiencies of the transportation system; and,
- Adding pedestrian facilities for improved safety.
When this project is completed, vehicles entering and leaving at the Madigan Gate will save a total of 662 hours in delay on a typical weekday, and individual delays will improve from an excess of 10 minutes to 35 seconds.
The Interstate 5 corridor plays a vital economic role due to both the freight movement and in national defense, serving as the primary access to and from JBLM and Camp Murray, the state’s Emergency Operations Center. The project is critical to serving transportation mobility affecting commerce in the State of Washington, as well as measurably improving the provision of care for the 1.4 million patients visiting MAMC annually. This will also be a help to the local community as we continue working to reduce congestion along the I-5 corridor.