After nearly 30 years of planning, Washington State is beginning work on the creation of new and improved roadways that will significantly improve movement of freight from two of the busiest ports on the West Coast.
The Gateway Program includes two projects for the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT): Completion of State Route 167 (SR 167) in northern Pierce County, and completion of State Route 509 (SR 509) in southern King County.
“The Gateway Program will complete two missing links that connect the state’s two largest marine ports and largest airport, thereby relieving ‘last mile’ congestion for the $9 billion in annual freight exports arriving from eastern Washington and northern tier states,” said Jeanine Viscount, program manager for WSP. “The Gateway Program will also better serve key distribution centers in King and Pierce counties, relieving congestion on other roads.”
WSP is serving as the program management consultant (PMC) for WSDOT on the Gateway Program. In this role, WSP directs a team that provides WSDOT with strategic planning, program management, program and project controls, government relations support, public communications, engineering and technical services, transportation planning, real estate strategies, preparation of grants and agreements and quality assurance. The firm also serves as the general engineering consultant for the SR 167 Completion Project, with Daniel Babuca as the project manager. WSP has been working with WSDOT on the Gateway Program since June 2016.
“Our overall objective with these responsibilities is to provide WSDOT with consistency and reliability in execution across the program,” added Mike Rigsby, who served as the initial program manager for WSP.
Major stakeholders include the Port of Seattle, the Port of Tacoma, and several local jurisdictions.
An October groundbreaking celebration attended by numerous lawmakers, including Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, marked the start of construction on the $2 billion program, targeted for completion by the summer of 2028.
“These two projects will help Washington state stay competitive in the global marketplace by providing critical ‘last mile’ connections between the west coast’s second-largest distribution center and the ports of Tacoma and Seattle,” Gov. Inslee said at the ceremony. “This is exactly the kind of smart investment we need to make to address our transportation priorities because it pays dividends that include thousands of new jobs, easier access to our ports for Washington state products, and more transportation choices.”