Monday, December 19, 2011

JBLM Gets More Transportation Dollars

The top Washington state grant application for Tiger III funding captured $15 million for improvements along the I-5 corridor at JBLM.

The original application was for $32 million, but some $5.7 million of that was already achieved when the City of Lakewood captured a grant for improvements at the Berkeley St. Interchange, leaving some $26 million actively sought for.

The reduction will mean some specific work selection must be chosen by the Washington State Department of Transportation, but all improvements will be welcome on this corridor which serves some 15,000 trucks and some 152,000 vehicles accessing JBLM daily.  A longer range fix is currently estimated to cost $1 billion.

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Col. Tommy Brittain, Washington State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond made the following statements after U.S. Department of Transportation announced a $15 million TIGER III grant to fund the I-5 Joint Base Lewis-McChord Area Congestion Management:

“Helping secure funds for projects that improve transportation throughout our region is one of my top priorities,” said Congressman Adam Smith.  “These grants will help alleviate traffic for military personnel and communities around the JBLM corridor and save commuters time and money. They will also improve freight traffic, benefiting our local economy while adding hundreds of jobs to our region. These are significant wins for our district and I thank Congressman Dicks, along with Senators Cantwell and Murray for their longstanding support.”

"We're grateful for the efforts of everyone involved to address the growing traffic congestion that has affect JBLM and our neighboring communities,” said Col. Tommy Brittain.  “We have worked very closely with local communities, regional and state agencies, and federal and state legislators, to develop strategies that mitigate the congestion brought about by growth in Pierce and Thurston Counties, as well as our growth here at JBLM. This grant is yet another indicator of the positive, cooperative relationship we enjoy with our neighbors, and we look forward to continuing to work together to find solutions to regional challenges."

"A true partnership is bringing about transportation improvements in the JBLM corridor," said Washington State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. "Our state delegation in D.C. helped win these federal dollars, and we have partners at the base and in Pierce County and local cities. With this grant money, we can make transportation investments in this critical corridor that will have an immediate impact on reducing some of the congestion."

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