Thursday, May 14, 2009

Governor Signs Transportation Budget in Tacoma

May 13, 2009

Thanks to a broad coalition of stakeholders, South Sound residents and businesses stand to benefit from the historic state transportation budget signed Wednesday by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy hosted a reception immediately after Wednesday’s bill-signing ceremony to thank the Gregoire administration, legislators, stakeholders and staff for their hard work that led to approval of a state transportation budget that’s expected to preserve and create tens of thousands of jobs.

“We’re honored that Governor Gregoire chose to sign this historic legislation here in Pierce County, where so much work is set to be done to improve the movement of people and freight,” McCarthy said during the event at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. “The governor has demonstrated steady leadership and a willingness to tackle controversial and complex issues in a very challenging budget climate.”

Highlights of the transportation plan that pertain to Pierce County include:

-- Extending car-pool lanes on Interstate 5 to Tacoma. (read TNT article)

-- Widening or realigning portions of SR 161.

-- Purchasing property for the future expansion of SR 167.

-- Making safety improvements to SR 302 in the Purdy area.

-- Widening SR 410 in the Bonney Lake area.

-- Making other improvements to roads, bridges, railroad tracks and ferry facilities around the region.

Fore a complete list of Pierce county transportation projects click here.

Shortly after taking office, McCarthy quickly organized more than 100 representatives of local government, business, labor, Indian tribes and environmental groups to unite to make sure Pierce County maintained a level of state funding that is appropriate for Washington state’s second-largest county.

“This coalition of stakeholders made a huge difference,” McCarthy said. “They signed letters. They made phone calls. They spoke with one powerful voice. Legislators told us that this coalition was very effective.

“We can’t let up now. We must keep our momentum as we implement the stimulus programs, and we will do so in a fully transparent way,” she added. “With the help of the leaders who got us this far, I know we can get back on the road to prosperity and success.”

View the list of the transportation coalition members.

Contact: Hunter George, Pierce County communications director, 253-798-6606 or

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