A couple of recent letter writers have suggested the solution to congestion around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is to move Sea-Tac to the present site of Joint Base Lewis-McChord and to move JBLM east of the mountains to Moses Lake.
That’s a bad idea on so many fronts it’s hard to know where to begin. The direct and indirect economic impact of JBLM on the Puget Sound economy is around $12.1 billion a year. Approximately more than 145,000 people either serve in the military there, are military dependents, are civilian employees or are retired military who live near JBLM because of the many medical, shopping and other benefits co-located at or near the base. Those retirees also are frequently young and skilled enough that they’re still productively working in the Puget Sound area, adding civic capital/talent and impact beyond their numbers.
Moving JBLM would have a devastating impact on the Puget Sound economy, and would require many billions of dollars more in infrastructure, transportation, housing, retail, office, school and government expansion around Moses Lake.
As a region we’re fortunate JBLM is here. Moving it would be a very bad idea.
Dave Zeeck, University Place