Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Persistence Pays

Ribbon Cutters: Executive Ladenburg, Rep. Flannigan, Sen. Kastama, BNSF's Finn, Mayor Baarsma, Commissioner Petrich (barely), Councilmember Lonergan, Pierce County's Ziegler and FHA's Mathis. Photo credit: PSRC

It was almost a decade in coming since the first steps were actually taken, but the community recently celebrated the opening of the D Street Overpass.

These august personages all played a vital - and often long-term - part in getting the complete package together for what will be multi-faceted benefits to the community, separating rail and road traffic, increasing speeds for intercontinental rail and easing local movement for both E. & W. Foss Waterway as well as Dome District traffic.

And, as Port of Tacoma Commissioner Clare Petrich noted in her ribbon-cutting remarks, sometimes those in at the beginning need recognition too. I too wish to join her in recognizing a small Pierce County cadre that, while serving on the Central Puget Sound Economic Development District Board at the beginning of the decade, got what we believe were the first committed dollars to this project: Commissioner Petrich, Denise Dyer alt. for Executive Ladenburg, Rob Allen alt. for Pierce County Council and Gary Brackett, Chamber staff and private sector representative.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

VOTE! The new Narrows Bridge for America's Transportation Award

The new Tacoma Narrows Bridge project is one of 10 signature transportation projects in the running for the prestigious “America’s Transportation Award,” reflecting the best in management and innovation by the American Association of State Highway Transportation officials (AASHTO).

TNB, an engineering marvel built by experts and craftsmen from Washington and around the world now competes for the People’s Choice Award, decided upon by people across the nation via an online voting process. The winning state receives a substantial cash award to donate to a local or regional community service project of its choice.

Cast your vote today, voting ends Oct. 19: www.americastransportationaward.org/Voting.aspx

Tacoma Narrows Bridge Project named finalist in National Transportation Award Competition

Public can vote for its choice

Contact: Lloyd Brown, WSDOT Communications Director 360-705-7076

OLYMPIA – The Tacoma Narrows Bridge project is one of 10 signature transportation projects named today as finalists for the prestigious “America’s Transportation Award,” reflecting the best in management and innovation by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

Spectacular bridges, toll and access roads, innovative interchanges and interstates will now compete for the Grand National Prize – selected by a panel of community, business and transportation leaders – and the People’s Choice Award – which will be decided by an online voting process.

The America’s Transportation Award recognizes achievement in the development and construction of transportation projects, and instills an appreciation of transportation as a key element of our quality of life. Forty-one projects were entered into the America’s Transportation Awards competition with 23 chosen as regional winners, narrowing the field to 10 finalists. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge project team won the regional competition among 18 western states in the category for "on time delivery" for projects exceeding $200 million.

"We believe the New Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a special project that represents the best of what our people stand for - hard work, determination and success,” said Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “Now is the chance for the entire region to show the rest of the country that our project - on time and on budget - was the best of the best transportation projects in 2007."

The Grand National Prize-winning state will receive funds to support a graduate-level educational grant in the transportation field. The People’s Choice Award will fund a community service project selected by the winning state department of transportation. Awards will be presented at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Hartford, Connecticut, October 19.

The competition is cosponsored by the American Automobile Association (AAA), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and AASHTO to bring public attention to transportation projects around the country that make a positive difference to people, businesses and communities.

On-line voting for the People’s Choice Award begins today and will continue to October 19. Cast your vote: www.americastransportationaward.org/Voting.aspx

For complete information on each of the finalists and the voting ballot, go to http://www.americastransportationaward.org/.

Friday, August 01, 2008

WSDOT Breaks Ground on First Segment of Crossbase Highway

On Wednesday, July 30, WSDOT broke ground on Project 1, the first segment of the overall SR 704, Cross Base Highway in Pierce County.

Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond, County Executive John Ladenburg and many others were on hand to celebrate this milestone.

Project 1 will be built for $7.35 million and connect Spanaway Loop Road to SR 7, drastically improving safety and mobility. A new dual right-turn lane from Spanaway Loop Road to southbound SR 7 will ease back-ups during peak travel times. The project is scheduled to wrap up in June 2009.

The remaining SR 704 projects will be completed as funding becomes available. The planned six-mile, multi-lane highway stretches east to west between Fort Lewis and McChord military bases, and connects SR 7 to I-5. The new corridor will provide congestion relief and reduced delays on I-5, SR 512, SR 7 and county roads.