Monday, January 29, 2007

RTID Approves Roads Package

Submitted by Paul Ellis

On Friday the Regional Transportation Investment District (RTID) approved the revised Blueprint for Progress, a preliminary plan for major road and bridge improvements in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties. This package will comprise the roads portion of the Roads & Transit plan that will be submitted to the region's voters on the November ballot.

Projects supported by RAMP--completion of SR-167, construction of SR-704 (the Cross-Base Highway), and widening of SR-162--were included in the proposal adopted on Friday. RAMP participants P.J. McDonald (Fife Chamber) and John Austin (Toray Composites), as well as staff team member Sean Egan, spoke in favor of the Cross-Base Highway--which continues to face opposition from some members of the environmental community.

RTID also took action to increase funding for the SR-520 bridge replacement by $300 million (for a total regional contribution of $1.1 billion), funding new capacity for a six-lane bridge proposal. The RTID district boundary was also approved.

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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