Friday, April 06, 2007

Pierce County's "Mega Project"

Submitted by Paul Ellis

Seattle's arguments over the Viaduct and, to a lesser extent, SR-520 has taken up most of the "air time" thus far during the 2007 Legislative Session. RAMP's position is that SR-167--Pierce County's mega project--is equally important to the growth of the Puget Sound region and should have the same rank in the State's transportation pecking order as these two projects.

Insider talk has it that the two King County mega projects are being singled out in budget discussions to benefit from a special reserve management account so that funding can be drawn from other projects, if needed, to complete them or even just to expedite their completion. RAMP has been informed that Representative Dennis Flannigan and Senator Jim Kastama are working to have SR-167 included in that special account, and RAMP supports equal treatment for the Pierce County project.

To do otherwise, some transportation leaders contend, would represent a de facto implementation of the flawed recommendations from the Regional Transportation Commission.

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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