Planning for the lower Puyallup Valley section of State Route (SR) 167 began more than 40 years ago when freeway corridors for I-5, SR 167, SR 410, and SR 512 were proposed.
By the late 1980s, a four-lane facility from I-405 in Renton to SR 161 in Puyallup was complete. However construction of the lower Puyallup Valley portion was delayed due to uncertainty over property ownership within the Puyallup Indian Reservation and lack of funding. Consequently, SR 167 was routed onto River Road from SR 161 to Interstate 5.
In 1990, the Secretary of Transportation committed Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to begin work on an SR 167 corridor analysis using new funds made available by the state legislature.
As a result of this analysis, WSDOT, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is developing the SR 167 Extension project.
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
An EIS, documenting the project’s environmental effects, is required under Federal and State law. In 1990, FHWA selected the SR 167 extension as a pilot project for a two-tiered EIS. Tiering allowed WSDOT to identify a preferred corridor (Tier I) before moving forward with more detailed analysis of corridor design (Tier II).
Tier I EIS
WSDOT began the Tier I EIS in 1990 to evaluate several corridor alternatives and select a preferred alternative. The Final Tier I EIS, approved by FHWA in 1999, identified the corridor alternative that best met the purpose and need of the project. This corridor has the support of many stakeholders including the Port of Tacoma, Pierce County and the cities of Fife and Puyallup.
Tier II EIS
Following the completion of the Tier I EIS, WSDOT began work on the Tier II EIS to identify the preferred design within the selected corridor. The design office developed the project footprint to current design standards, preliminary profiles, ramp alignments, drainage facilities, high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) considerations and interchange options. In February 2003, WSDOT distributed a Draft EIS based on the preliminary design of the project. The Tier II Final EIS was published in December 2006.
Record of Decision (ROD)
In October 2007, FHWA signed the ROD for the Tier II EIS. This major milestone marks the final federal approval for the project and allows WSDOT to move forward with advanced engineering and design, permitting and construction as funding becomes available.
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