This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.
It’s been a while, but both political parties in Washington once understood the connection between highway investment and jobs. This is the time to revive that bipartisan vision, given what the Puget Sound Gateway Project promises to do for payrolls both west and east of the
The Gateway would extend state Route 167 from Puyallup to the Port of Tacoma; it would also extend state Route 509 south from Sea-Tac Airport to Interstate 5.
It would build highway interchanges, connect SR 167 with SR 509, multiply the connections with Interstate 5 and produce a seamless highway corridor through the Kent Valley to the South Sound, then north again to the economic engines of King County.
The result: congestion relief throughout the region and speedier shipping from the ports of Tacoma and Seattle.
The cost – roughly $1.8 billion – sounds steep. But the SR 167 segment alone would create an estimated 80,000 permanent jobs, many of them high-paying. The SR 509 segment, when complete, would produce a corresponding windfall of employment.
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