Ports of Seattle and Tacoma welcome multi-billion dollar state transportation package
The ports of Tacoma and Seattle applaud the Washington State Legislature’s passage of a $16.2 billion transportation investment package that will benefit the state’s economy by speeding the movement of cargo through the ports and freight corridors.
The ports, business and community leaders have been advocating for funding to complete the key freight routes of State Route 509 in King County and State Route 167 in Pierce County, which are supported in the package.
“We want to thank lawmakers for their hard work and collaboration to develop and pass this transportation package. The transportation system outside our terminal gates is critical to maintaining our competitive edge,” said Port of Tacoma Commission President Don Johnson. “Completing state routes 167 and 509 will keep and grow jobs throughout Washington state.”
The Washington State Department of Transportation estimates a completed SR 167 could fuel job growth to the tune of $10.1 billion.
“Washington farmers, manufacturers and businesses of all sizes need an efficient transportation system to reach global markets,” said Port of Seattle Commission co-President Courtney Gregoire. “This package means jobs and economic development across our state, and we thank our senators and legislators for recognizing the need to invest in transportation infrastructure.”
According to studies commissioned by the Port of Seattle and cities of SeaTac and Des Moines, the completion of SR 509 will allow for development of more than 5 million square feet of office, retail and commercial space totaling nearly $700 million in new construction.
The transportation package also included a number of other investments to move cargo faster to and from the ports, including improvements on Interstate 5 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and on Interstate 90 in Snoqualmie Pass. In total, the state will invest nearly $3.25 billion in projects that service the Puget Sound gateway.
About the ports of Seattle and Tacoma
Combined, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma are the third-largest container gateway in North America. A recent analysis performed by Martin Associates estimates that the two ports’ marine cargo operations supported more than 48,000 jobs, which generated nearly $4.3 billion in economic activity in 2013. If the farmers and manufacturers who ship products through the ports of Seattle and Tacoma are factored in, the ports’ activities reach 443,000 jobs overall in Washington.