Monday, April 09, 2007

SR-167 Benefits: $10.1 Billion

Submitted by Paul Ellis

Completing SR-167 could fuel job growth to the tune of $10.1 billion over the next 30 years, according to an economic analysis conducted by Berk & Associates and about to be released by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

The direct impact of the full extension, complete with I-5 interchange, is estimated at $940 million. The study estimates the indirect benefits--including economic development opportunities--to be even bigger, primarily from four additional areas of improvement:

  • Operational support for greater volumes of container traffic through the Port of Tacoma;

  • More efficient use of industrial land in the Puyallup Valley;

  • Greater connectivity between Pierce County's urban centers--Tacoma and fast-growing cities like Sumner and Puyallup;

  • Avoiding public investment in improvements to surface streets that will become overburdened if the highway is not completed.
The economic analysis is one of several assigned to Berk & Associates in preparation for public discussion over the array of projects recommended by the Regional Transportation Investment District (RTID) for voter approval in November. The consultants also completed an economic analysis of the Alaskan Way Viaduct earlier this year.

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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