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March 9, 2010

Ms. Marina King

Puget Sound Regional Council
1011 Western Ave #500
Seattle, WA 98104

Ms. King:

The Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County (EDB) meets with hundreds of
Pierce County companies each year and works with them on a variety of business retention and
recruitment issues, including transportation. The vitality of the regional transportation system is
critical to South Sound businesses who rely on freight mobility as well as local residents who
commute to their jobs daily. Additionally, as plans are developed for regional transportation
funding resources in the years ahead, clear precedents need to be established regarding funding
equity to ensure that transportation dollars generated in our community are used for projects in
our community.

As Pierce County expects significant growth in the decades ahead, we need to plan strategically
to accommodate that growth by growing our local employment centers. A central element of this
planning effort is our transportation infrastructure. The following projects are crucial to South
Sound businesses moving forward:

• State Route 167 extension to the Port of Tacoma

This is a critical corridor for much of the South Sound and will significantly improve the
timing of goods moving in and out of the Port of Tacoma

• State Route 704 – Cross Base Highway

Frederickson is a major employment center in Pierce County and creation of this new
highway will create much needed access to businesses like Boeing, Toray Composites
and more. SR-704 will also reduce a great deal of congestion on I-5 near Joint Base
Lewis McChord

• HOV improvements on I-5 and State Route 16

Freight mobility is a high priority for Pierce County businesses and HOV and other
improvements on these major highways will be crucial to efforts to remain competitive in
the timely delivery of goods

• Sounder Commuter Rail improvements

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Businesses will increasingly rely on alternative commuting options for employees in the
years ahead and to best serve future employee populations there needs to be increased
commuter rail service between Seattle and Tacoma, as well as the fulfillment of the
extension of Sounder commuter rail to Lakewood and DuPont.

• Light Rail extension to Tacoma Dome

The Sound Transit light rail network needs to be extended to the Tacoma Dome to
provide a rail connection from Tacoma-Pierce County – a major Puget Sound population
center – to Sea-Tac International Airport and to King and Snohomish Counties

These are all projects that will need to be completed for Pierce County to keep up with the pace
of population growth and the increased demand for jobs in our area in the next three decades.

Finally, as the Puget Sound Regional Council continues to deliberate on this document and
considers the options for generating transportation revenue dollars through user fees, tolls, gas
taxes and other options, it is important to maintain a policy of equitable funding distribution
based on the geographic locations where the revenue is generated. Moving forward, projected
revenue dollar amounts will change from year to year and specific funding sources may change
from year to year. As this occurs, and tough choices are made on the prioritization of projects, it
is of utmost importance to follow a balanced plan that ensures dollars generated in one
community are not exported to another area of Puget Sound.

The EDB is grateful to the Puget Sound Regional Council and the Prosperity Partnership for all
of its efforts on behalf of our region and the work we are doing together to plan strategically for
the transportation needs of the future. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at
(253) 383-4726.


Bruce Kendall
President and CEO