Credit: Tacoma News Tribune
“The Washington Department of Transportation is planning to add lanes to Interstate 5 near Joint Base Lewis-McChord to battle long-term traffic problems, but the six-year project is expected to make traffic congestion worse between Olympia and Tacoma in the near future.
The extra lanes are being funded with $494 million from a gas-tax increase approved by the Legislature in July, The Olympian reported (http://bit.ly/1X42quY).
The expansion will bring at least eight lanes of traffic to nearly the entire highway along the base, though it has not been decided if the new lanes will be restricted to carpools. In the meantime, construction crews and 120,000 vehicles a day will be competing for the same space on the freeway.
Preliminary work such as permitting and design is to be done so crews can begin working in 2017. The plan is to open the northern part of the highway in 2020 and finish the southern part in 2023.”
“JBLM is Pierce County’s largest employer and although it’s not the largest in the state — that’s Boeing — it’s the largest in a single workplace,” quoting Jordan Schrader, Tacoma News Tribune.