TACOMA, Wash. -- Governor Jay Inlsee chose a distribution center near the Port of Tacoma Friday to push two transportation projects he says will boost trade and economic growth. The governor told workers and lawmakers gathered at Americold that finishing SR 509 and SR 167 is crucial to creating and maintaining jobs.
The first phase would cost about $1.8 billion to finish SR-509 south of SeaTac Airport and SR-167 between Puyallup and the Port of Tacoma. The legislature has proposed paying for the so-called Puget Sound Gateway project by tolling the new highway segments and charging solo drivers to use the HOV lanes on I-5 between Tacoma and Seattle.
Inslee also says a commitment must be made this year to qualify for $850 million in federal construction dollars.
"We're going to build jet airplanes," said Inslee. "And if we're going to build jet airplanes, we're going to have to move those jet engines up and down I-5, 405 and everywhere else in this state."
House Transportation Chair Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island) has also proposed increasing the gas tax by 10 cents a gallon to help fund the entire transportation budget which includes $1 billion for the Puget Sound Gateway.