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Auburn transportation projects receive $1.5 million

The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) recently awarded more than $1.5 million of federal transportation funds to the City of Auburn.

The competitive federal grants were among $450 million approved by the PSRC for priority projects that will improve local and regional mobility.

The grants will expand and improve two major Auburn transportation corridors – $560,000 for West Valley Highway System Preservation (15th Street Northwest to 37th Street Northwest) and $1.02 million for South 272nd/277th Street Corridor Capacity and Nonmotorized Trail Improvements.

"It's very rare that federal grants are awarded to a local street improvement project," said Mayor Pete Lewis. "The City was able to explain that West Valley Highway is more than a local street. It is a regional north-south corridor that parallels SR 167 and is also used heavily for freight mobility."

The second project approved by the PSRC will fund design, permitting and right-of-way acquisition for widening of the South 277th Corridor between Auburn Way North and L Street Northeast to the Green River Bridge.

"Our ultimate plan is to widen this segment to five lanes that will match the rest of 277th, improving this major east-west freight corridor," Lewis said. "Combined with the right-of-way contribution under the agreement with developer RPG, the City will be able to prepare the project for bidding and make it eligible for additional state/federal grants to construct the project."

Bob Drewel, PSRC executive director, announced Auburn would receive the grants in a recent letter to Lewis.

"Thanks to your leadership and excellent work by your staff, our region is advancing a better system that gets people and goods where they need to go," Drewel wrote. Final approval by the fovernor and federal funding agencies is expected in early 2013.

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