The Puget Sound Gateway Program combines the SR 509 Completion Project in King County and the SR 167 Completion Project in Pierce County to complete critical missing links in Washington state's highway and freight network. These projects build important new connections to the state's ports, will improve the movement of freight and reduce congestion on local roads and highways. Both projects have multimodal benefits and together create 6.5 miles of new bike/pedestrian paths and 3.5 miles of new sidewalks.
Major project status
Estimated $2 billion funds the Gateway Program, which includes the SR 509 Completion Project and SR 167 Completion Project
Both the SR 509 Completion Project in King County and SR 167 Completion Project in King County will be completed in three distinct stages of construction with work lasting through 2028.
SR 509 Completion Project
First stage of construction (Stage 1a) - In progress
WSDOT partnered with Sound Transit to build a new SR 99 bridge over SR 509 near South 208th Street in SeaTac. The work is part of Sound Transit's Federal Way Link Extension (FWLE). The project includes new walls to reduce noise from both the new roadway and light rail. The partnership reduces construction disruptions by building both projects at the same time. This stage of construction is expected to wrap up in late 2022.
Second stage of construction (Stage 1b): SR 509/I-5 to 24th Avenue South – New Expressway Project - In progress
This stage builds the first of 3 miles of SR 509 between I-5 and 24th Avenue South in SeaTac and adds a new interchange at 24th Avenue South. The project also builds new SR 509 ramps to and from I-5, improves the I-5/SR 516 interchange, and creates a new South 216th Street I-5 overpass with multi-modal access. Work should last through 2024.
Third stage of construction (Stage 2): SR 509/24th Avenue South to South 188th Street – New Expressway Project - 2024-2028
This final stage builds the remaining 2 miles between SR 509's current end point and 24th Avenue South, linking the entire SR 509 to I-5. The work also adds a southbound auxiliary lane on I-5 between SR 516 and South 272nd Street.
SR 167 Completion Project
First stage of construction (Stage 1a): SR 167/70th Avenue Bridge Project - Complete
This first stage of work started in 2020 and ended in 2021. In June 2021, WSDOT opened a four-lane bridge over I-5 in Fife that doubled the capacity of the 70th Avenue East Bridge it replaced. The new bridge, named the Wapato Way East Bridge, includes a 12-foot-wide protected pedestrian and bicycle path across I-5. WSDOT also built a new SR 99 multi-lane roundabout to allow traffic to flow between the bridge and SR 99. Other improvements include a new connection between the bridge and the Interurban Trail, and a new trail parking lot. This project set the stage for the rest of SR 167 construction. Learn how in this video.
Second stage of construction (Stage 1b): SR 167/I-5 to SR 509 New Expressway Project - Starts in summer 2022
This stage of construction builds a new 2-mile highway between I-5 and SR 509 in Pierce County, providing a direct link to the Port of Tacoma. A diverging diamond interchange will be built over I-5 to connect I-5 to the future SR 167 extension. There is also a unique environmental improvement program (Riparian Restoration Program) which will restore about 150 acres of wetlands and streams near SR 167 and I-5.
Third stage of construction (Stage 2): The SR 167/I-5 to SR 161 - New Expressway Project - 2025-2028
This final stage of construction will build the remaining 4 miles of SR 167 between Puyallup and I-5. The project is currently in the design phase.
Work to extend SR 509 in King County and SR 167 in Pierce County to I-5 began in the early 1990s, but funding constraints periodically interrupted progress.
In 2013, following two decades of project development, WSDOT completed a study establishing an integrated, sustainable approach to complete the SR 167 and SR 509 corridor connections to I-5 to relieve congestion and improve mobility between Tacoma and Seattle. Learn more in Puget Sound Gateway Program's Funding and Phasing Study Final Report (PDF 2.7MB).
In 2015, Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington state Legislature secured funding through the Connecting Washington funding package. At that time, WSDOT combined the SR 509 and SR 167 completion projects under the Puget Sound Gateway Program to maximize efficiencies in planning, environmental review, design and construction.
In 2019, the Washington state Legislature accelerated funding and advanced project completion to 2028 to deliver the benefits of the improvements three years earlier than originally planned. Learn more in our Benefits of Program Acceleration Report (PDF 1.3MB). The legislature also authorized tolling the new sections of highway (to be called expressways) to help pay construction costs.
Tolling the new expressways
The new portions of SR 509 and SR 167, called expressways, will be tolled electronically (no tollbooths), similar to the SR 520 bridge and SR 99 tunnel. The Washington State Transportation Commission will oversee the rate-setting process when the new roadways are closer to opening.
Tolling feasibility studies were requested by the Legislature in 2009:
Learn more about WSDOT’s electronic toll collection system on the Good to Go! webpage.
Overall benefits of the Puget Sound Gateway Program
Improved travel times: Reduces traffic congestion on local roads and highways by completing connections and providing alternate routes to I-5.
Better freight connections: Completes critical freight links between the Puget Sound marine ports and the industrial areas of South King and North Pierce counties.
Increased airport access: Establishes a new southern connection between I-5 and Sea-Tac Airport for passengers and cargo.
Economic benefits: More efficient movement of cargo through the Puget Sound offers benefits regionally and nationally. Washington is the nation’s second-most trade-dependent state, with exports being a key driver of job growth and economic prosperity.
Regional job and economic growth: Supports regional job growth and economic growth associated with the state’s largest ports.
Environmental enhancements: Restores wildlife habitat, including streams, stream banks, wetlands and forests.
Intelligent transportation: Electronic tolling on the new expressways will manage congestion, which improves safety and reliability for all users.
Multi-modal improvement: Builds new shared-use paths, sidewalks and trails for regional travel without a car.
WSDOT's Puget Sound Gateway Program has strong local partnerships with stakeholders, elected officials and executives representing 25 cities, counties, ports, transit and federal agencies. Through the Steering and Executive committee process, WSDOT established consensus to address the transportation needs of the Puget Sound region and built a foundation of trust moving forward.
Joint Steering Committee
Comprised of technical staff from local jurisdictions along the SR 167 and SR 509 corridors, representatives from community and business groups, transit agencies and planning organizations. The Steering Committee reviews project design details including traffic analysis, costs and environmental impacts.
Most recent presentation:June 2, 2021 presentation (PDF 5.25MB)
Joint Executive Committee
Comprised of elected and senior officials from cities along the SR 167 and SR 509 corridors, representatives from community and business groups, transit agencies and planning organizations.
Most recent presentation:June 8, 2021 presentation (PDF 5.6MB)
The SR 509 Completion Project will extend SR 509 from its current end point near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to I-5, add a southern access point to the airport, and improve service between industrial districts by allowing general purpose traffic and trucks to bypass I-5, SR 99 and local streets. There are three stages of construction (labeled on the map below as Stages 1a, 1b and 2).
SR 167 Completion Project in Pierce County
The SR 167 Completion Project builds 6 miles of new highway between Puyallup and SR 509/Port of Tacoma, completing a long-planned connection to I-5. There are three stages of construction (labeled on the map below as Stages 1a, 1b and 2) with construction scheduled through 2028.
Multimodal benefits of the Puget Sound Gateway Program
The Puget Sound Gateway Program includes environmental improvements throughout the project areas. The SR 509 Completion Program introduces advanced wetland mitigation and improves water quality and wildlife habitat. The SR 167 Completion Program contains a unique, large mitigation program called a Riparian Restoration Program to restore wildlife, and improve aquatic habitat and water quality.
Environmental highlight: SR 167 Completion Project's Riparian Restoration Program
The Riparian Restoration Program (RRP) will revitalize nearly 150 acres of wetlands and streams as part of an unique environmental mitigation project. The RRP will re-align streams, remove invasive vegetation, plant tens of thousands of native plants and encourage the return of animal life with natural barriers. The project re-channels Hylebos Creek away from I-5, which will improve water quality and help restore native fish populations, as well as alleviate chronic flooding on I-5.
SR 509 NEPA Re-evaluation
WSDOT and the FHWA completed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) re-evaluation and found there are no new significant effects comparing the 2003 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)/Record of Decision (ROD) to the 2018 Phase 1 improvements. SR 509 NEPA Re-Evaluation (PDF 43.4MB)
SR 509 Final Environmental Impact Statement
The SR 509 FEIS considered three build alternatives and a no action alternative. The C2 alternative was the preferred alternative based on the Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) and public input. SR 509 FEIS (PDF 33.3MB)
SR 167 NEPA Re-evaluation
WSDOT and the Federal Highway Administration completed the NEPA re-evaluation and found there are no new significant adverse effects comparing the 2006 FEIS and 2007 ROD to the 2018 Phase 1 improvements. SR 167 NEPA Re-Evaluation (PDF 82.7MB)
SR 167 Final Environmental Impact Statement
The SR 167 Tier I EIS evaluated three new corridors and a no-build alternative. The Tier 1 FEIS concluded the Alternative 2 corridor and interchange locations were environmentally preferred. The Tier II EIS proposed interchange options from Alternative 2 for environmental analysis. The Tier II FEIS responded to public comments on the EIS and provided additional information. SR 167 FEIS (PDF 65.8MB)