WSDOT issues final draft of transportation project list

The Washington State Department of Transportation has issued the final draft of its 2013-2016 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

The draft, which lists federally funded projects, as well as regionally significant state and local transportation projects, is available online for review and comment. The public-comment period is open until Thursday, Dec. 20.

WSDOT developed the project list in coordination with statewide metropolitan and rural transportation planning organizations to ensure that the projects are consistent with local, regional and state plans.

The comment period is the final step of a public process that started at the local level. Any comments received will be sent to the local planning organization for their consideration.

More than 1,000 statewide transportation improvement projects utilizing $2 billion in federal funds are included in the 2013-16 improvement program.

Improvement projects include pavement overlays, roadway widening, bridge replacement or repair, signal systems, safety enhancements, bicycle and pedestrian facilities and transit facilities.

Projects included in the draft are funded by a combination of federal, state and local sources, according to WSDOT.

Federal-aid projects must be included in the improvement program before Federal Highway Administration or Federal Transit Administration can authorize the expenditure of federal funds.

A new four-year improvement program is created every year, and several projects may carry over as they move from design, to permitting and finally, to construction.

The current 2012-15 STIP can be viewed online and a similar searchable database of the 2013-16 STIP will be created in early 2013, following approval from federal agencies.

Written comments can be sent to: Stephanie Tax, WSDOT, P.O. Box 47390, Olympia, WA 98504-7390, by email at Taxs@wsdot.wa.gov, or by fax at 360-705-6822.

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