Reps. Wilcox and Barkis to join Yelm Mayor JW Foster, other state and local leaders, for roundtable discussion on highway congestion

On Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2nd District Reps. J.T. Wilcox and Andrew Barkis will join Yelm Mayor JW Foster and other state and local leaders for a roundtable discussion on highway congestion — specifically on State Routes 507 and 510. The discussion will be held at the Yelm Community Center (301 2nd St SE) from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

During the meeting, Karen Parkhurst with the Thurston Regional Planning Council will provide an historical overview of the two highways, while Foster will discuss current resources and future needs.

“As I-5 becomes more congested, the capacity of our state highways must be improved to provide options and alternatives,” said Foster. “Bringing together leaders from along the SR 507 corridor is a great start to the conversation that will provide those answers. Working together, we can overcome all problems — even traffic.”

Foster says that while SR 507 is the only viable North/South alternative to I-5, the highway cannot handle the volume of traffic it's currently experiencing, especially from commercial vehicles. He says that's an issue that must be addressed, as well as the traffic on SR 510 to SR 507 through Yelm into Pierce County when I-5 is closed.

Wilcox says he looks forward to a productive conversation on Tuesday.

“While we received good news when the funding schedule for the $58.5 million SR 510/Yelm Loop project was accelerated by two years, we know there's more work to be done to relieve congestion and improve safety for commuters on our roadways,” said Wilcox. “I'm grateful for the overwhelming interest we received from state and local leaders for this roundtable discussion, and look forward to working with them to develop strategies and implement solutions going forward.”

In addition to Wilcox, Barkis and Foster, meeting attendees will include:

Rep. Laurie Dolan, D-Olympia;
Rep. Beth Doglio, D-Olympia;
Sen. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia;
Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville;
Wayne Fournier, Mayor of Tenino;
Alan Carr, Mayor of Bucoda;
Bob Shaw, Mayor of Rainier;
Anthony McDaniel, Mayor of Roy;
Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County Executive;
Jim McCune, Pierce County Councilmember;
Molly Carmody, Yelm City Councilmember;
Members of the Washington State Dept. of Transportation;
Members of the Washington State Patrol;
Members of the Southeast Thurston Fire Authority; and
Members of the Thurston Regional Planning Council


Washington State House Republican Communications