WSDOT awards $115.9 million contract to connect I-405/SR 167 and provide congestion relief

By MARIYA FROST  | 
BLOG
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Jun 9, 2016

The Washington State Department of Transportation has awarded $115.9 million dollars to Guy F. Atkinson Construction of Renton to design and build the Direct Connector Project – connecting Interstate 405 and State Route 167. The plan is to connect the HOT lanes on SR 167 to the carpool lanes on I-405 in Renton, which will have the direct benefit of cutting into the eight hours of congestion drivers typically experience at this interchange.

Construction will start this summer and should be completed halfway into 2019. These are exactly the kinds of effective mobility projects that drivers’ tax dollars are intended for.

According to WSDOT, this project will not only improve congestion and increase road safety – it will have an environmental and economic impact as well. WSDOT officials tell us the project will:

  •  Relocate a noise wall
  • Build storm water management facilities
  • Upgrade or replace a stream crossing at SR 167 to promote fish passage
  • Provide transit with better access to affordable housing and employment centers
  • Expand freight mobility to the Green  River Valley cities’ warehousing and distribution centers
  • Create construction jobs in a variety of trades

All of this public benefit is delivered at less than a quarter of 1% of the $54 billion in taxes that Sound Transit officials want to impose.

We could complete over 450 projects statewide for the same money Sound Transit officials want - and with a holistic, direct and positive benefit to people who use roads, to our environment and to our state economy. The same cannot be said of Sound Transit’s spending plans.