Panel to discuss moving gate at Camp Murray

The Tillicum Woodbrook Neighborhood Association will hold a moderated panel discussion tonight on the proposed relocation of the main gate at Camp Murray.

Scheduled to attend are Rep. Adam Smith, D-Tacoma, and his opponent during the fall campaign, Dick Muri; state lawmakers and their challengers; two members of the Lakewood City Council; and David Bugher, the city’s assistant city manager for development services.

Capt. Keith Kosik, spokesman at Camp Murray, said the Washington State Military Department declined an invitation to attend but would continue to be involved in the conversation. The department held two public meetings last month.

State officials have said the current gate at the intersection of Union Avenue and Berkeley Street is untenable and unsafe due to its proximity to a collision-prone intersection and a congested freeway interchange. The department’s intent in moving the gate is to relieve congestion at the Berkeley Street interchange by routing traffic to the North Thorne Lane interchange, which connects to Portland Avenue Southwest. However, residents worry moving the gate to the intersection of Portland Avenue and Boundary Street would turn Portland from a quiet neighborhood street into a busy and unsafe thoroughfare.

The city is awaiting an environmental assessment before providing formal comment, Bugher wrote in a report to the City Council.

Kosik said the assessment for the gate relocation is under review at the National Guard Bureau and is scheduled for release “very soon.”

The state must obtain a right-of-way permit from the city to connect a new gate to the local street network. No application has been made.

WHAT: Public meeting on Camp Murray gate relocation

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. today

WHERE: Gymnasium of Tillicum Elementary School, 8514 Maple St. S.W. It’s scheduled to last two hours.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call Jim Taylor, the neighborhood association’s vice president, at 253-588-3159.