Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: 520 bridge

Jan.
23rd

Finishing SR 167 should be high on delegation’s to-do list

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

When South Sound lawmakers talk about their legislative priorities, near the top is finishing state Route 167 – the six-mile Port of Tacoma bypass. But completing the SR 167 extension has been a priority for more than two decades. It’s time to stop talking about it and get moving on it.

With competition growing from Canadian ports and a widened Panama Canal threatening to take shipping business away, Washington lawmakers and local business interests recognize how important it is to get trucks quickly between the port and points east.

The Washington State Department of Transportation refers to the $1.5 billion SR 167 extension as “a critical missing link in the state’s highway network.” Besides moving trucks more efficiently, the freight corridor also would take a lot of big semis out of heavy Interstate 5 traffic, decreasing accidents and rush-hour gridlock. Read more »

March
8th

Give Narrows tollpayers a break on project’s sales tax

UPDATE: The Legislature passed SSB6073 Thursday night. It now goes to the governor for her signature.

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Narrows Bridge commuters are footing the bill for building the second span and retrofitting the original one. But if state Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, has any say in it, they won’t also pay state sales tax on the project anytime soon.

Kilmer’s Substitute Senate Bill 6073, which passed the Senate on Monday, is now in the House and of this writing is still technically alive. It would further delay payment of the sales taxes involved with the bridge project. The first payment on those taxes – about $5.75 million a year over 10 years – comes due this year. With SSB 6073, Kilmer hopes to push that out another six years – at least.
Read more »