Friday, December 08, 2006

Pierce County's First HOV Lane Opening

Submitted by Paul Ellis

Tri-State Construction and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) crews are close to opening Pierce County's first mainline high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane--eastbound SR-16 from Jackson Ave. to Union Ave. An anticipated stretch of dry weather will allow crews to apply the final striping before opening the lane as early as next week.

This initial HOV lane serves about three miles of freeway, part of a 22-project program that will build 79 miles of carpool lanes in Pierce County.

In addition to building an HOV lane, WSDOT is improving safety between Jackson and Union by widening shoulders, lessening the curve at Center St. and improving the flow of merging traffic. Crews began construction of the lanes between Union and Jackson in 2004 as part of the overall SR-16 corridor project.

Paul Ellis is lead staff for RAMP; an employee of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, Ellis led the Pierce County Transportation Advisory Committee (PCTAC), the community's largest transportation planning effort.

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