Those of us who live and work in the connected valleys from Renton to Fife have long awaited a 30-year promise – that the last six miles of state Route 167 be completed.
As the 2013 legislative session approaches, the City of Auburn and a coalition of cities, chambers, ports and dozens of freight-related businesses ask the Legislature to actively pursue a plan for future funding cycles and appropriations needed to complete SR 167. We cannot wait another 30 years to finish this “last six-mile” project.
SR 167 is a major corridor that moves freight to and from the Port of Tacoma. The port is one of the region’s largest economic engines. With 43,000 jobs in Pierce County and more than 113,000 related jobs statewide, the port generates more than $90 million annually in state and local taxes.
A completed SR 167 is key to the port’s expansion of its international cargo operations, which is estimated to add $10.1 billion in job growth for the region.
We urge the Legislature to fund this important project. The positive economic impact for our state and region is too great to wait any longer.
(Lewis is the mayor of Auburn.)