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WSDOT FORMAL TITLE
"SOUTH PIERCE COUNTY MULTIMODAL CONNECTIVITY STUDY"
WHAT KIND OF STUDY IS IT?
This recently completed study, led by WSDOT, was to evaluate current east/west mobility of the Pierce County transporation network between SR7 and SR162 and SR512 and Graham. They were to specifically identify the transportation network and it's shortcomings (identify the needs). Their outcome was not to provide recommendations for improving this connectivity and multmodal options but to identify possible areas of improvement.
WHAT SHOULD THE THE STUDY OUTCOME PRODUCE?
The study outcome should benefit Pierce County in it's efforts to prioritize funding for projects needed to improve east/west connectivity in South Pierce County, the fastest growing area of the County. It also looks at mobility options the County may incorporate into its long term planning to reduce the volumes of traffic in this area.
WHAT IS IN THE STUDY THAT DIRECTLY EFFECTS US?
The study should include SR162 to SR161 connection alternatives. This addresses the equity in service shortcoming of the transportation network to the Bonney Lake plateau. Currently this plateau has only one primary east/west link (SR410). The new County highway connecting the plateau to the Orting Valley stops at SR162. The study should evaluate connectivity options from there to SR161 (Meridian).
EXTENDING THE NEW HIGHWAY FROM THE BONNEY LAKE PLATEAU OPTION
One of the alternatives is the extension of the Tehaleh highway from SR162 at 128th St E to either 144th St E or to Reservoir Road to South Hill. This option provides a direct east/west connection of the Bonney Lake and South Hill plateaus up an undeveloped hillside to South Hill. SEE MAP HERE (Reservoir Rd connection option not shown)
128th St. E OPTION PROJECTED COST LOOKS TOO HIGH IN STUDY RESULTS
Projected cost for extending 128th St E to South Hill (a two-lane highway) is the same as the 5-lane highway being built down the opposite hillside from Bonney Lake plateau.
IMPROVING THE EXISTING MILITARY ROAD OPTION
The study also considers making improvements to Military Road as an alternative.
This historical road would be dramatically changed by the addition of climbing lane on the steeper hillside requiring a large cut-back area with a retaining wall. The balance of the road above that would increase to four travel lanes with a center turn lane.
WHY WE REJECT THE MILITARY ROAD OPTION
We feel that this option has many drawbacks to include:
WHY WE SUPPORT EXTENDING THE NEW HIGHWAY TO SOUTH HILL
Provides a direct link between the Bonney Lake and South Hill plateaus
Removes east/west traffic between plateaus from SR162 to use Military Rd
New road construction would cause no impact to existing roadways
Undeveloped hillside does not displace residents
Connects to South Hill in a less congested area
Aligns with future improvement to east/west corridors
Provides another evacuation route from Orting Valley
Opens opportunity for east/west public transportation
WHAT ARE THE ISSUES WE ARE CONCERN WITH?
The Tehaleh, Bonney Lake, Enemclaw, and even Orting communities lack an effective public transporatation system that links these areas to the Sounder rail service, retail centers, and medical centers. By extending 128th St E onto South Hill, it opens up additional public transportation opportunities linking both the Bonney Lake and South Hill communities to these services, THUS reducing the number of vehicles on our roadways.
YOUR ROLE IF YOU CHOOSE TO HELP
Keep yourself informed by this website and see our "Please Help" page for ways to connect with city, county, and state agencies to provide them your feedback on transportation issues. Periodically, we request email participation on issues and could use your support then.
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