Local Information

State seeks TIGER V grants to improve mobility in the Puget Sound area

Friday, June 7, 2013 - 11:54

Jay Alexander, director, Capital Program, Development and Management, 360-705-7121 (Olympia)

OLYMPIA – Puget Sound travelers can look forward to new highway lanes, improved travel times or a new ferry terminal if any of the state’s projects are selected to receive a portion of the $474 million in federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery ( TIGER V ) grant funds.

The Washington State Department of Transportation this week submitted three applications to the U.S. Department of Transportation for projects in Pierce and King, Skagit and Snohomish counties.

These projects will improve mobility within the Puget Sound region by:

  • extending the high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes on State Route 167 in Pierce and King counties
  • removing a traffic bottleneck on State Route 20 in Anacortes (Skagit County)
  • replacing the Mukilteo Ferry Terminal with a new, multimodal facility in a new location (Snohomish County)

The TIGER V grant-selection criteria include projects that improve existing transportation facilities and systems, contribute to economic competitiveness and jobs, and increase transportation choices. USDOT will review and score each project through a competitive process. States are eligible to receive from a minimum of $10 million up to a maximum of $200 million in TIGER V grants. Awards are expected to be announced this fall.

WSDOT’s TIGER V grant application projects and amounts:

SR 167/8th Street East to 277th Street vicinity northbound and southbound HOT lane extension (pdf 1 mb) –This project will build a total of nearly 10 miles of new lane, extending the SR 167 HOT lane system that connects the cities of Pacific and Algona to Auburn and Renton in King and Pierce counties. The project adds highway capacity, and the new lane will operate as a HOT lane to manage congestion into the future. Improved traffic flow will benefit the movement of goods on this major freight corridor. In addition, several bridges will be retrofitted to better withstand earthquake movement. WSDOT is seeking $17 million to fill a funding gap to build the additional lane.

SR 20/Sharpes Corner vicinity and Miller-Gibralter Road intersection improvement (pdf 3 mb) – WSDOT will remove a traffic bottleneck in Anacortes by replacing the signalized T-intersection at SR 20 and Sharpes Corner with a roundabout, which will improve access as well as reduce wait times and the risk of collisions. To enhance the performance of the Sharpes Corner roundabout, another roundabout will be built one-half mile to the south, along with a slow-vehicle climbing lane between the two roundabouts. The project also improves transit, pedestrian and bike facilities. This is the busiest intersection in Skagit, Island and San Juan counties, serving 40,000 vehicles, including nearly 2,000 trucks a day. WSDOT is seeking $20.5 million to complete this project.

Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal (pdf 2 mb) – This project will replace the aging and seismically vulnerable Mukilteo Ferry Terminal with a new facility that improves efficiency, safety, and multimodal connections. The existing terminal is inadequate and difficult for passengers to access. It is plagued by traffic congestion, safety concerns, and conflicts between vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The new Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal will feature separated loading for pedestrians, dedicated loading for bicycles and carpools, a bus transit center with multiple bays, and improved connections to the adjacent commuter rail station. WSDOT is seeking $32.7 million in TIGER grant funds.

WSDOT has been successful in recent federal grant competitions, capturing federal grant dollars including:

  • $791 million for improvements to the Cascade Rail Corridor between Vancouver, Wash., and the Canadian border
  • $15 million to improve traffic flow on Interstate 5 near Joint Base Lewis-McChord
  • $45 million total in two separate TIGER grants for the US 395 North Spokane Corridor
  • $8.5 million for ferry terminal seismic improvements and preservation of eight vessels

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