MILTON, Wash. - The City of Milton plans to invest millions into its stretch of SR-99, a highway that has seen several deaths in the last few years.
This month there have two separate fatal crashes on Pacific Highway in Federal Way. On the Pierce County side of the road, city leaders say it is not any better.
"It’s not safe. It has the congestion, and also we’ve had some property damage, and we’ve had fatalities," said Nick Afzali.
Afzali is the Public Works Director for the City of Milton.
He says in three years, there have been three deaths due to crashes on the road. That is why the city is looking to make changes.
"All of us have a duty to make sure we make this roadway safe for the general public to use," he said.
Starting this Fall, Afzali says a $3 million construction plan will work to add lights, sidewalks, and traffic signals to the Porter Way and Highway 99 intersection.
Afzali says the city is also working with Tacoma Power to install additional streetlights along the entire Milton stretch of the road, especially near bus stops.
They are working with Pierce Transit to relocate bus stops, and they are continuing to request that WSDOT consider lowering the speed limit to 35 mph.
"We want to make sure the roadways within the City of Milton are safe for the public," he said.
One mom has been waiting for news like this for about 8 years.
"We need change," said Michelle Stebbins.
Stebbins’ 25-year-old daughter, Lacey, was killed on Pacific Highway in 2014, just a few days after Christmas.
"It brings real sadness to me when I look out there," she said.
For years, Stebbins says she worked to bring change, but says she saw no results.
Now, with change finally coming, she says she believes her daughter would be proud.
Afzali says the total cost of all the improvements would equal about $12 million.
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