The region will lobby for $5 million to study long-term traffic planning for Interstate 5 between Mounts Road and 93rd Avenue (Exit 116 to Exit 99).
The idea behind this funding request is to prepare that stretch of I-5 for a future lane expansion to accommodate more vehicles.
The state is already targeting congestion on I-5 through Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Nearly $500 million has been approved by the Legislature to add one lane in each direction on a 7-mile stretch of I-5 between Lakewood and DuPont. Construction could begin as early as March on the southern portion of the project. The overall project will be funded by a 11.9-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax increase that was approved in 2015.
Lacey City Manager Scott Spence said the improvements near JBLM will likely move the congestion south into Thurston County — which means longer commutes and delayed freight shipments through the area. He said a traffic study between Mounts Road and 93rd Avenue is a logical next step for the corridor.
“I-5 is the lifeline of the state of Washington,” Spence said.
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