At the May 6th RAMP meeting representatives from the Office of Congressman Norm Dicks and WSDOT discussed the Federal SAFETEA-LU reauthorization and WSDOT’s requested project list.
SAFETEA-LU, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act- a Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), directs surface transportation programs and policies for the federal government. The Act is scheduled to be renewed by Congress before September 30, 2009. However, Latasha Wortham from Congressman Dicks’ district office suggested that the Act would not be voted on by the full Congress until January 2010.
Wortham advised that projects likely to be at the top at legislators lists will include those projects related to:
· Climate Change, specifically reducing vehicle miles traveled
· Bridge safety projects
· Transit infrastructure and efficiency
· Freight mobility
· Highway safety
The Washington State Department of Transportation has a long list of statewide projects requesting federal funding. There are three Pierce County road projects on this list. (Pierce Transit has also made a SAFETEA-LU funding request.)
· SR 167, Tacoma to Puyallup New Freeway $160,000,000
· I-5, Nisqually to Thorne Lane, Congestion Relief and Safety Improvements $3,440,000
· SR 302 Corridor Safety Improvements $1,000,000