Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hopes for Improved I-5 Access to Madigan

Hopes are high for improving access to Madigan Health- care Systems thanks to a recent grant opportunity that addresses improving access to medical facilities impacted by BRAC.

Attendees at this month's Military Affairs Forum heard a recap of a grant application designed to make significant improvements to those seeking service at Madigan, said Dan Penrose, Project Manager, SSMCP. 

Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), home of Madigan Health- care Systems and the Western Regional Medical Command, has been impacted by BRAC and several other Army initiatives, resulting in a doubling of personnel stationed there.  Now, there are 152,000 daily trips into-out of JBLM.  Over $1 billion is needed to accommodate today’s I-5 traffic (including its service for workforce commutation and commercial mobility).

Appli- cations from four defense commun- ities exceeded the $300 million fund cap.  Fairfax County, VA submitted the largest request, asking for $185 million; Montgomery County and Maryland asked for about $90 million, San Antonio, TX asked for $125 million and City of Lakewood [representing the South Sound Military and Community Partnership (SSMCP)] asked for less than $6 million.

The local application centers on the Berkeley Street/Union Ave./Freedom Bridge interchange on I-5.  Its particulars:
  • a third lane to Madigan
  • a second left turn land to I-5 South
  • better signals on the ramps and Union Ave.
  • a second receiving land for the Freedom Bridge overpass
  • improved land configurations for Berkeley and Union
  • added pedestrian safety improvements
The results – an astonishing 95% improvements in vehicle flow measured against the mid-day peak.  What’s now delays of more than 10 minutes per vehicle will drop to 35 seconds per vehicle after the improvements are made.

The decision is due November 7.  All here are hoping Lakewood’s proposal is “budget dust” that will be swept into local coffers.

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