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Pierce County considers largest road project in its history

Pierce County leaders are looking into a major expansion project for Canyon Road.

As the job market grows outside of Seattle, more people are looking for jobs and housing in Pierce County. Area leaders say some of the areas with the highest employment growth are Frederickson and Sumner.

The Canyon Road Regional Connection Project is a $160 million project that is expected to help support growth in the area.

"This is a big deal. I would describe it as the largest roadway transportation project in the county’s history,” said Brian Stacy, lead engineer for Pierce County.

It's a project that's been talked about for decades, extending canyon road east from South Pioneer Way East to 52nd Street and from 52nd Street to 70th Avenue East. That includes replacing the old with the new. The Milroy Bridge, over the Puyallup River, is expected to be replaced.

"It’s functionally obsolete. It’s really narrow, probably heard people talk about it before, not really designed for accommodating people," said Stacy.

Unincorporated Pierce County is growing and businesses are looking to get customers through the area more easily.

"The residents benefit in the sense that we're finally providing them with a really true north-south link to get to I-5, they don't have that right now and the business out there is great. I can get my large trucks and all my products to market," said Stacy.

Pierce County is still meeting with lawmakers, trying to get enough funding to wrap up the projects.

"The worst thing for something like this is to get the momentum that we have, get it all the way to 2022 and if all of a sudden the buck and the money doesn’t come, then you got to put those on the shelf. Plans in our world get pretty stale. If it sits too long then you kind of got to restart things. It’s in our best interest to make sure we get those funding partners on board,” said Stacy.

The hope is that this project will be finished by 2025. The community is invited to visit an online open house about the future of the Canyon Road improvements here.

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