Thursday, December 07, 2006

SR-167 Environmental Review Completed

Submitted by Paul Ellis

The Federal Highway Administration and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) recently published the the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the SR-167 Extension Project.

The 878-page document released Friday completes the project's environmental analysis. It outlines the footprint of the proposed highway through the Puyallup and Fife valleys and includes plans to avoid or lessen the highway's potential effects on farmland, wetlands, stormwater management and flood plains. The EIS includes responses to comments and questions heard from community members, organizations and government agencies near the proposed new highway during the seven-year study.

The Federal Highway Administration is expected to approve the project's environmental plan this spring with a Record of Decision, allowing WSDOT to move forward with final design. The Regional Transportation Investment District (RTID) has indicated it will place a segment of the new highway on its list of projects for voters to consider next November. In the meantime, the project team continues to design the highway and buy property to secure the corridor.

Copies of the EIS are currently available on CD at no cost by e-mailing Project Manager Steve Fuchs. An electronic copy of the document will be available on the project website soon, as well.

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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