Newsletter: Your money at work improving your commute around JBLM, Senate and House budget proposals and more

One of the many honors I have as your Senator is to request critical projects in our district that make a difference in your daily life. One such project I was able to get included in the transportation budget is the new Berkeley Street overpass that will replace the existing one known as the ‘Freedom Bridge.’

The new ‘Freedom Bridge,’ expected to open by the end of year, is part of a long-awaited effort to improve I-5 through the “choke point” that develops along Joint Base Lewis-McChord. If you’ve been stuck in it, you know how much this improvement is needed.

I have fought against the exorbitant car-tab fees imposed by Sound Transit as part of the ST3 light rail project through Seattle. There are several reasons why, which include the belief that a $495 million project to expand capacity of I-5 from DuPont to Thorne Lane is money better spent in Pierce County’s interest than the more than $54 billion we are paying for ST3 — a project most of us will never use and voted down.

The new overpass will feature:

  • Four lanes of traffic instead of three.
  • A 14-food wide shared-use path for bikes and pedestrians.
  • A span over the nearby railroad tracks, negating the current at-grade crossing.
  • A 14-foot height increase over the existing bridge.

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