Thursday, May 25, 2017

Seattle Port Commissioners Approve Railroad Funding

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Seattle Commission on May 23 approved transportation funding for Kent’s South 228th Street grade separation (overpass) project that will help relieve traffic congestion caused by railroad crossings.

According to the port, the project will improve regional connections between thousands of businesses, employers and 40-million square feet of warehouse and industrial space.

The $595,000 in funding contributes to an overall project cost of $25 million.

“The Port of Seattle recognizes the need to keep freight, and all other traffic, moving throughout our region,” Commissioner Stephanie Bowman said in a statement. “Grade separations like these are critical to remove traffic bottlenecks, especially areas in the Kent Valley that handle the second largest freight and cargo volumes on the West Coast.”

Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke said that the success of both the Port of Seattle and the Kent Valley’s manufacturing, warehouse and distribution activity depends upon connections to the Seattle and Tacoma ports, and increasingly to Sea-Tac Airport.

“Kent’s South 228th Street has been designated as a key freight route, attracting port customers who value timely access,” she said. “The elimination of the chokepoint at the Union Pacific Railroad crossing will help ensure our region’s future as a premier manufacturing and distribution center of world-wide importance.”