News Cross-Base Highway Dead? Not According to John Ladenburg.
posted by June 19 at 12:29 PMon
Environmentalists, you may recall, signed on to the joint roads/Sound Transit package a few weeks ago despite the potential inclusion of the sprawl-feeding Cross Base Highway in Pierce County (and despite the fact that the package included hundreds of miles of new highway lanes, many of which would feed sprawl in places like Marysville and Monroe). Groups like the Transportation Choices Coalition justified their support for the massive $7 billion roads package because the cross-base highway will be subject to mediation, raising hopes that enviros will be able to kill the highway. (They also point out that the roads package is linked to Sound Transit expansion.)
Well, Ladenburg certainly doesn’t think Cross Base is dead; in fact, according to a widely distributed e-mail the Pierce County Executive sent out last Friday, he believes it’s in the package. According to Ladenburg’s-mail, “The cross-base highway is back in with a portion of the funding contingent on mediation with environmental representatives.”
So—according to the Pierce County Executive, anyway, who was in on the negotiations—environmental groups signed off on a highway that traverses the last remaining oak prairie in Western Washington (and parallels another highway just five miles away) in exchange for a little “mediation.” Awesome.