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56th Street Improvements Anticipate US Open Rush

The Puget Sound Regional Council recently awarded the City of University Place $778,500 in funding for the design phase of improvements to the South 56th Street arterial corridor from I-5 to Cirque Drive in advance of the US Open. The corridor will be a major arterial for getting the anticipated hordes of golf fans to and from Chambers Bay, but it also carries a fair number of drivers on regular daily commutes.

As the corridor runs through both Tacoma and UP, the funding and work will be split between the two cities, with University Place responsible for design work associated with Cirque, and Tacoma responsible for design on 56th. Funding will be split 50/50, which gives Tacoma $389,500 in grant funding, with a required $60,750 local match, which is budgeted and available from gas tax revenues.

The project is obviously timed to prepare for the US Open at Chambers Bay in 2015, but the changes will stay long after the big time golf hubub has died down.

Do you drive that way often? What improvements would you hope to see?

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So if I am reading this correctly the “improvements” are to accommodate visitors for a sporting event that lasts a week?

The first paragraph suggests to readers that increased capacity is needed to support this event, but I have serious doubts that this is what is being planned. My intuition is that this is yet another extravagant street scape project.

If so this is just “icing on the cake” to people who already resent the taxes they pay being used to subsidize other people’s golf hobby.

Over the course of the last month or so I have sat through four or five presentations in which Tacoma’s City Manager was trying awful hard to convince those in attendance that Tacoma’s new theme is going to be “Back To Basics.” That Tacoma was going to “focus like a laser on maintaining and preserving our pavement infrastructure.”

North of $3/4 Million for design suggests to me that this is at least a ten to fifteen million dollar street scape project, with the “local match” coming out of the recently enacted MVET ($20 car tab). I also suspect that this project would be considered by the City to fall under what can and will be funded using Prop 1 dollars should Prop 1 pass.

September 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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