Pierce County Council sends transportation plan to voters

Recognizing that Pierce County’s future growth depends on its transportation system, all seven members of the County Council yesterday approved a $7 billion regional roads package that voters will decide in the fall.

Composed of a project list finalized by the three-county Regional Transportation Investment District’s (RTID) planning commitee on June 8, the roads plan will be teamed with $10.8 billion in Sound Transit rail and bus improvements to form the $17.8 billion regionwide “Roads and Transit” proposal. Pierce, King and Snohomish county voters will see it on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Pierce County’s share includes $1.3 billion in road projects — like completing state Route 167 between Tacoma and Puyallup, performing significant work on the proposed SR 704 cross-base highway and providing congestion relief at the intersection of SR 410 and SR 162 – that are intended to link jobs to highways. The county also will benefit from $2.2 billion that will connect Sound Transit’s light-rail system to Sea-Tac Airport from the Tacoma Dome, build parking garages at the Sounder commuter-rail stations in Puyallup and Sumner and improve ST Express bus service.

Funding will come from a six-tenths of one percent increase in the sales tax, which will cost a typical household about $150 a year. The owner of a $10,000 vehicle would pay another $80 annually. The money raised in Pierce County will be dedicated to constructing Pierce County projects.