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Tacoma Secures $1.3 Million in Federal Funding to Conduct I-5 Crossings Study Aimed at Improving Safety and Accessibility

Tacoma Secures $1.3 Million in Federal Funding to Conduct I-5 Crossings Study Aimed at Improving Safety and Accessibility

April 23, 2024


Maria Lee, Media and Communications, maria.lee@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2054

Tacoma Secures $1.3 Million in Federal Funding to
Conduct I-5 Crossings Study Aimed at Improving Safety and Accessibility


TACOMA, Wash. – Tacoma will receive $1.3 million in new federal funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Reconnecting Communities Pilot and Neighborhood Access and Equity discretionary grant programs for increased safety and mobility options along Interstate 5 in Tacoma. I-5 is the primary north-south route for vehicle travel in Washington state, and it divides Tacoma, creating barriers to everyday destinations for individuals who do not or cannot drive. This division particularly affects access to downtown Tacoma, the Port of Tacoma, educational institutions, and vital health care facilities.


With these federal funds, the City will hire a consultant to help conduct an 18-month engagement, planning, and design process that will begin in early 2025 and have an estimated completion date in 2026. The Tacoma I-5 Crossings Study will focus on the 6.5-mile corridor of I-5 built in 1959 that bisects Tacoma and includes 14 crossings. The study will develop community-supported solutions that, when implemented, will address the significant safety and accessibility challenges created by I-5 for people walking, biking, and rolling. In addition, this work will help Tacoma take important steps toward environmental justice and continue the City’s work to upend disparities that have harmed people of color in our community. This study is also an implementation action item of the Tacoma Transportation Master Plan and is included in Tacoma’s six-year Transportation Improvement Program.


“Receiving this funding for our I-5 Crossings Study is going to make a huge difference in Tacoma,” said Council Member Kristina Walker. “For too long communities have been physically divided and it has been unsafe to bike or walk between them. We are grateful that the Biden-Harris administration has recognized these disparities and is investing in change. We also applaud and appreciate Representative Derek Kilmer for always fighting for Tacoma. I look forward to seeing the study results and investing in the infrastructure that follows.”


“I am thrilled to see this funding for our I-5 Crossings Study that recognizes the need to ensure our community has safe options for crossing the highway,” said Mayor Victoria Woodards. “Prioritizing the study of these crossings and investing in infrastructure ensures communities are safely connected and supports a more livable and vibrant community.”


The City of Tacoma has prioritized reducing disparities in Tacoma’s transportation system by focusing on creating a system that is safe and accessible for all travel modes and abilities. Through robust planning, community engagement, and conceptual design processes, these federal funds will help provide direction and prioritized recommendations on how to best increase safety, enhance mobility options, and strengthen community in historically disadvantaged communities impacted by I-5.


For more information about capital projects to add to or improve infrastructure in Tacoma, please visit the Capital Projects - City of Tacoma. page. For more information about Vision Zero and the City’s efforts to work toward the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries in the City of Tacoma by 2035, please visit the Vision Zero - City of Tacoma page.