State of the region’s transportation system in 2016

Condition of the region’s roads, bridges, and ferry and transit systems was the focus of a presentation to the Transportation Policy Board this week.

[caption id="attachment_8845" align="alignleft" width="300"]photo of workers replacing expansion joint on I-5 Workers replacing an expansion joint on I-5. (Photo credit - WSDOT)[/caption]

One of the findings:  The Connecting Washington package provided much-needed funding to address state highway conditions, but didn’t address critical city and county needs.

Analysis shows that conditions vary across jurisdictions based on local funding limitations and opportunities. Going forward, more comprehensive and consistent data collection is necessary to better understand city pavement conditions.

Data shows that ferry conditions are holding steady, yet new funding will be needed to address long-term vessel replacement needs.

Fish-passage barrier removal has re-opened hundreds of miles of fish habitat and is well-funded into the near future.

Another major finding:  The region and state need to evaluate and prioritize I-5 preservation needs, focusing on pavement preservation and seismic retrofit.

About $2 billion is needed to rebuild I-5 through the region.

The Connecting Washington package takes a step in the right direction, providing $1.2 billion over the next 16 years for preservation of highways statewide and targeting I-5 as a priority.

But $435 million in seismic retrofit needs on I-5 through Seattle are not currently prioritized.

The briefing on the state of the system is one in a series of presentations to the board that will help set the stage for the next update of the regional transportation plan in 2018.

You can see the presentation here or watch the video (starting at about 34:31).