Monday, August 24, 2009

WSDOT Claims partial completion of Cross-Base Highway

I am going to refrain from editorializing heavily here, but just as a FYI, WSDOT released a press release claiming that phase one of cross-base highway is complete.

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

1 comment:

  1. "The groups contend the environmental study ignored alternative alignments that would have less impact on the environment. They claim the approved alignment will destroy one of the region’s largest remaining tracts of oak-woodland prairie."

    So what if it's one of the region's "largest remaining tracts of oak-woodland prairie"?! It's on military property!! I don't think anyone would even blink an eye if they decided to clear it and erect a building there. It's not like the area could ever be developed into a park or Nature Preserve. Once again say it with me now, because it's on military property! The general public can never have access to the area so why does it matter if it even exsists? The general public wouldn't even know it was there if these so called "studies" weren't released.

    The Army could be out there doing manuvers and tear the whole area up anyway. It's the Army's property, if they give us the go ahead than the highway should be put through ASAP. We've paid plenty of taxes on it, either give us what we paid for or come up with some sort of refund and lower the gas prices!!

    Whoever filed this lawsuit needs to find better things to do with their time. This highway makes very good economic sense not just for Pierce County but the Puget Sound region. Just like the article said we can move goods and people faster and thereby wasting less gas by not using Perimeter Road. It would be especially good for businesses in the Spanaway, Steilacoom, Dupont, Lakewood and Tacoma areas.

    I live in Lakewood and attend a church in Spanaway. I also volunteer my time for grounds maintenance and other things. I use Perimeter Road probably 2-3 times a week. If the highway was available than it's wouldn't take me 35 minutes to travel from Lakewood to Spanaway. I'm sure the good people of Woodbrook would REALLY love to see the highway go through so they don't have thousands of cars coming through their neighborhood every day.