Zeiger: Senate budget invests in 167/Meridian interchange

The state Senate released its supplemental transportation budget this week. It includes funding for design and engineering for a full single-point urban interchange at Meridian Avenue and Highway 167 in Puyallup as part of the plan to complete Highway 167 to I-5 and the Port of Tacoma.

The Senate’s supplemental roads budget proposes a total of $20 million for the addition of a third lane on northbound Highway 167 between Highway 410 and Highway 18, including active traffic-management measures such as ramp metering.

“I am happy that we’re making progress toward congestion relief on Highway 167,” said Zeiger, R-Puyallup. “Northbound commuters could really use another lane on their morning commute.”

Construction on the Highway 167 completion project from Puyallup to the Port of Tacoma is set to begin in 2019, but initial planning by the Washington State Department of Transportation did not include the certainty of a full single-point urban interchange at Meridian Avenue (Highway 161).

Puyallup Deputy Mayor Tom Swanson, Puyallup City Council member Julie Door and other city officials came to Olympia on Jan. 29 to meet with Zeiger, Rep. Melanie Stambaugh and Department of Transportation officials.

“We need stronger language in the budget to give us certainty that we will have a full interchange at Highway 167 and Meridian,” said Zeiger.

In addition, the Senate’s supplemental transportation budget also includes $200,000 for design planning on Highway 162 and Highway 410 in east Pierce County.