WSDOT has built the start of what looks like a new highway but it is only 3/4 of a mile long and connects two existing roads. The messaging coming out of of WSDOT claiming victory is concerning and something that TCC will be keeping an eye on closely. Essentially WSDOT has connected Highway 7 to Spanaway Loop road with an extremely short highway, which is a different reality than building a brand new 4-6 general purpose freeway all the way to I-5, which is neither funded or something that the state can afford.
Here is their press release.
SPANAWAY – WSDOT will celebrate the elimination of a Pierce County chokepoint and the first new state highway section to be built in more than a decade during a ceremony Wednesday, Aug. 26.
State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond is expected to be joined by several federal, state and local officials Wednesday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony where they will unveil the new highway sign for the first segment of the State Route 704 Cross Base Highway.
Ribbon-cutting ceremony details: 10 a.m. Wednesday, near the intersection of 176th Street South and Eighth Avenue Court South.
This first segment – about three quarters of a mile – improves traffic flow at the intersection of SR 7 and SR 704 with dual right-turn lanes from SR 704 to southbound SR 7 and dual left-turn lanes from northbound SR 7 to SR 704.
The first federal- and state-funded project – built for about $9.5 million – is part of an estimated $318 million planned six-mile Cross Base Highway that stretches east to west between Fort Lewis and McChord military bases, connecting SR 7 to I-5 in Lakewood. The remaining Cross Base segments will be completed as funding becomes available.
Stay Tuned for the response coming from the environmentally community in the next few days