Pierce County: Canyon Road extension nets reduced traffic totals

Traffic counts since completion of Pierce County's Canyon Road extension project show that the new road has reduced traffic on...

Traffic counts since completion of Pierce County’s Canyon Road extension project show that the new road has reduced traffic on other routes in the vicinity, according to Pierce County officials.

Canyon Road runs north and south through central Pierce County and previously ended at 192nd Street East. It was extended a half mile south to 200th earlier this year. Before the extension, travelers used 38th Avenue or 78th Avenue East to travel south of 192nd. More than 12,000 cars per day were counted on each of these roads in April before the new Canyon Road section opened in May.

June traffic counts show that more than 11,000 drivers per day are using the new Canyon Road extension, while 78th dropped to less than 11,000 and 38th dropped to less than 5,000.

“Each new connection shortens not only commute times, but also allows faster emergency response by fire and police and more direct, less costly school-bus routes,” said County Councilmember Roger Bush.

Public Works and Utilities director Brian Ziegler said the addition of this new segment in the road system provides more direct travel, reduced travel times and less pollution.

The extension project is one of several Canyon Road improvement projects that began in 2002 and are are planned to continue through 2010. Increased road capacity along the Canyon Road corridor is needed to support traffic between the Frederickson industrial area and SR 512 and follows an increase in residential development in the south county area.

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