Tacoma Intermodal Transit Center, Key Pierce County Transportation Priorities Included in Final Spending Bill

Dec 09 2009

Funding will create jobs, reduce congestion, and invest in transportation infrastructure across Pierce County

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that funding she secured to boost Pierce County transportation and economic development has been included in the final version of the Fiscal Year 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act.  The final version of the spending bill came out of a conference committee between the Senate and the House and is expected to pass both bodies shortly before being sent to the President for his signature.

As Chair of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murray fought to secure federal support for Pierce County projects that create jobs and invest in long-term economic growth.

Tacoma Intermodal Transit Center, Tacoma: $974,000
This funding will provide for the acquisition of property for the construction of an Intermodal Transit Center in Tacoma, WA.  In addition to creating over 200 jobs during the construction phase, this project will help to reduce congestion in downtown Tacoma and spur economic expansion and job growth in the long-term.

“This funding helps reduce the congestion in Pierce County that hurts our commuters and hurts our economy,” said Senator Patty Murray. “It will create jobs in the region immediately, and it will lay down a strong foundation for long-term economic growth in Pierce County.” 

 “This public infrastructure project will help to mitigate traffic congestion in the downtown core and will act as a catalyst to attract greater private investment in a more sustainable manner,” said City Manager Eric Anderson.

The following additional projects were included in the bill for Pierce County:

70th Avenue and Valley Avenue East Corridor Project, Fife: $1,614,900
This funding will help to widen and improve road conditions on the 70th Avenue corridor, a major north-south arterial between the Port of Tacoma and Fife industrial areas.  The project will ease high congestion levels, improve freight mobility, and increase safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.

”This project is more than just a local roads project for the City of Fife,” said Fife Mayor Barry Johnson.  “This project is essential to our regional transportation needs, including freight mobility from the Port of Tacoma and regional commuting. This federal investment leverages significant local and state investments.”

Topia – Mobile Object Infrastructure Technology, Tacoma: $1,948,000
This funding will allow Topia Technology to continue their partnership with the System Wide Information Management (SWIM) Program, which develops streamlined data management for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The completion of this project will enhance the safety, security and efficiency of the FAA’s information system management, resulting in improved safety across the board for air travelers and cargo.

Downtown Tacoma Streetscape Improvements, Tacoma: $800,000
This funding will help develop and complete streets in downtown Tacoma, involving transitioning right-of-way for multimodal use including new bike paths, widening sidewalks, street trees and other pedestrian safety improvements.

These improvements in Tacoma's downtown core and financial services district will enhance pedestrian safety and retain employers and entice additional economic growth and diversification.  This project is one part of a much larger program by the City of Tacoma to transform the local economy to one comprised of diversified professional services, bringing in 500 new jobs in the downtown area alone.

Puyallup Bus Rapid Transit Project – Alternatives Analysis, Puyallup: $1,461,000
This funding would provide for the initial engineering study to implement a frequent transit connector service between downtown Puyallup and the South Hill community.

Puyallup’s proposed transit connector service would ease congestion on main corridors by connecting the region’s commuters to city transit centers such as Puyallup’s Sound Transit station, which boasts the highest daily access in the Sound Transit system.

“Puyallup’s major stakeholders tell us that transit options are very important as an incentive to locate in Puyallup. We look forward to the day when we can hop the ‘EZRA’ for local trips to and from downtown and South Hill or to connect with the Sounder,” said City Manager Gary McLean.

Pierce Transit Diesel-Electric Bus Acquisition, Pierce County: $1,272,700
This funding will allow Pierce Transit to acquire six hybrid diesel-electric buses to replace aging vehicles in Pierce Transit’s existing fleet.

The acquisition of new, more fuel efficient buses will allow Pierce Transit to reduce operating costs and maintain its extensive transit services, which operate in more than 25 cities and carry approximately 17 million passengers annually.

“Pierce Transit, which serves 17 million passengers a year, is a vital and truly indispensable link in the region’s transportation system,” said Lynne Griffith, CEO of Pierce Transit.  “Purchase of these vehicles during these economically strained times will create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce congestion on freeways, and assure access to employment.”

Downtown Gig Harbor Revitalization Project, Gig Harbor: $1,461,000
This funding will provide for the construction of a pedestrian bridge and a new intersection in order to smooth traffic flow and improve parking at a recreational and economic crossroads in Gig Harbor.

The construction of the pedestrian bridge and adjustment of the intersection 500 feet to the north will create local construction employment and provide safety enhancements for both pedestrians and vehicles, helping them to access local businesses and a community park.

“We very much appreciate Senator Murray’s support of this important project,” said Gig Harbor Mayor Chuck Hunter.

HOPE Center Project, Gig Harbor: $730,500
This funding would help to complete the construction of the Gig Harbor HOPE Center, a multi-use facility run by the local Boys and Girls Club to serve the needs of local at-risk school age youth.

This new facility will provide a host of services to local youth including computer and vocational training and after school programs and activities.  Adult services at the site will also be provided, including adult literacy courses and job skills training and placement.

“The Gig Harbor Hope Center will fill a much needed void in our region.  Senator Murray’s support of this funding request means that hundreds of youth and seniors will receive services and opportunities that they would not otherwise have access to,” said Derek Young, Gig Harbor City Councilman.