$5.7M grant awarded to upgrade Freedom Bridge near JBLM

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) Monday announced the approval of a $5.7 million grant for the City of Lakewood to improve the Freedom Bridge overpass near the Madigan Army Medical Center Gate to alleviate congestion and improve public safety along the Berkeley street corridor.

Improvements will include an additional eastbound ramp to the bridge, a second left turn lane to the I-5 southbound off-ramp, upgrades to traffic signs and additional pedestrian facilities for increased public safety.

Funding for the project is provided under the Department of Defense (DOD) and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011 and will be completed as a joint effort between the State of Washington Department of Transportation, the City of Lakewood and the Command at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

“These necessary improvements will benefit everyone because they will increase safety and help alleviate congestion,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, a co-chair of the South Sound Military and Communities Partnership (SSMCP). “This is another success for the Partnership’s collaboration of communities with the Department of Defense to serve our service members, veterans and neighbors. I look forward to working with the City of Lakewood and the Washington State Department of Transportation to get these critical projects moving.”

“The residents of the South Sound are very pleased the DoD and OEA have provided $5.7 million in critical access and improved traffic flow project funding along the I-5 Corridor,” said Mayor Doug Richardson.