Comment on proposed $4.5 billion in transportation investments

PSRC is recommending projects to receive nearly $700 million in PSRC funds and is encouraging public comment on a $4.5 billion draft regional Transportation Improvement Program that includes most all major projects underway in the region through 2020.

The region’s transportation investments (in red) are focused within the urban growth areas (light green) where most of the region’s growth is happening, along with most of the region’s traffic.

The region’s transportation investments (in red) are focused within the urban growth areas (light green) where most of the region’s growth is happening, along with most of the region’s traffic.

“Our region is behind on transportation as growth is surging.  We’ve identified all the major ways our region is building a better transportation system,” said Josh Brown, PSRC’s executive director.  “The vast majority of these investments we’re making are within the region’s urban growth area and supporting the region’s growth strategy – to sustain a healthy environment and a strong economy.”

Investments underway include many large state highway projects funded with last year’s Connecting Washington package, new light rail connections, improved bus service, improvements to city streets and county roads, along with new bicycle and pedestrian connections.

A complete list of projects and more detailed information is available online at psrc.org, including a web map with information on each project. You can view the projects by location, along with other data such as the location of regional centers, designated freight routes and other information.

The public comment starts on September 8 and closes on October 27, 2016.

PSRC’s Executive Board is scheduled to approve the final 2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Program on October 27.

How to make a comment:

Mail: Puget Sound Regional Council
ATTN: Kelly McGourty
1011 Western Avenue, Suite 500
Seattle, Washington 98104-1035

E-mail: tipcomment@psrc.org

In Person: October 13 or October 27 at PSRC offices, 1011 Western Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle


Region is way ahead on project delivery

Local governments are exceeding expectations for delivering transportation projects funded through PSRC.

Nearly $5 million in PSRC funds was awarded to the Mukilteo Multimodal Terminal project.

The Mukilteo Multimodal Terminal project has delivered on nearly $5 million in PSRC funds in 2016.

Regions across the state have annual targets they must meet for the use of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funds.

In central Puget Sound, these funds are distributed through a competitive selection process coordinated by PSRC.

The goal is to ensure funds are put to work to improve transportation as quickly as possible.

Projects that have already obligated 2016 funds include the Mukilteo multimodal terminal, the east segment of the Foothills Trail, and Sumner’s Puyallup Street Overlay.

By the end of April, the region’s project sponsors had already delivered 84% of the annual target due by August.

With its high rate of project delivery, the Puget Sound region is well positioned to receive additional funds other states can’t obligate.

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Project in Pierce County to complete core HOV system

The HOV Connector project at SR 16 and I-5 in Pierce County is starting its final phase.

map of HOV Connector project

The HOV Connector project will build new bridge structures and direct-access ramps to connect I-5 HOV lanes to SR 16 HOV lanes.

The Executive Board adopted an amendment adding the project to the Regional Transportation Improvement Program at its meeting this week.

In this stage of the project, crews will build ramps that create new high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes between I-5 and SR 16. The project will also realign I-5 to accommodate HOV ramps.

When complete, drivers will be able to continue using an HOV lane while merging onto I-5 or SR 16.

These structures will create the last link within a core HOV system that will stretch from Gig Harbor to Everett.

It’s a major, multi-year effort that the Washington State Department of Transportation expects to be complete in 2020.


West approach to 520 bridge fully funded

The Executive Board is poised to take an action that would allow the SR 520, I-5 to Floating Bridge project to move forward.

Connecting Washington funded the remaining portions of the SR 520 Bridge Replacement.

Connecting Washington funded the remaining portions of the SR 520 Bridge Replacement.

That action is to confirm the project meets all federal, state and local requirements and add it to the Regional Transportation Improvement Program. The Washington State Department of Transportation is scheduled to present the $4.56 billion project to the board at its meeting on January 28, 2016.

Connecting Washington, the recent transportation package adopted by the Legislature, will provide the final $1.64 billion needed for the west approach to the new bridge and fully fund the project.

PSRC began funding the project with the original Trans-Lake Study in 1997.

The floating bridge is scheduled to open this April and a community celebration is planned for the weekend of April 2. WSDOT will be working closely with the City of Seattle as the construction begins for the I-5 to the bridge portion in 2018.

See the full Executive Board agenda or watch the meeting here.


Moving forward: I-5 project near JBLM & expansion of light rail fleet

The Transportation Policy Board will take up two big transportation projects this week.

map of proposed options on I-5 near JBLM

The proposed improvements on I-5 would reduce chronic traffic congestion and improve safety through the JBLM corridor.

WSDOT is ready to go with the I-5 (Mounts Road to Thorne Lane) corridor improvements funded through the Connecting Washington transportation package passed by the legislature earlier this year.

The transportation board will also take up Sound Transit’s ST2 Light Rail Vehicle Fleet Expansion project.

This $733 million project will fund all aspects of the manufacturing, delivery and testing of 122 light rail vehicles for ST2 projects, including Northgate, East Link and Lynnwood Link.

Both agencies have requested that PSRC add the projects to the Regional Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).  To be included in the Regional TIP, projects must comply with federal and state requirements, and be consistent with VISION 2040 and Transportation 2040.

Two smaller projects funded by Connecting Washington are also ready to go – the SR 518/Des Moines interchange improvements and Highway 3/304 interchange modifications in Kitsap County.

Also on the board’s agenda:

  • PSRC’s Project Tracking Exceptions Policy
  • Transit Integration: System Access and Parking
  • 2015 Regional Transit Integration Summit Meeting Summary & Next Steps
  • A recommendation on a dozen comprehensive plans

You can see the entire agenda packet here. The meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 8, in PSRC’s board room. You can also watch the meeting online.


Region beats project delivery target early – captures federal funds

Local jurisdictions in the region are meeting and beating goals for delivering transportation projects with federal funds.

regionbeatstarget

The region beat its project delivery target a month early – securing federal transportation funds and opening the door for more.

By the end of June, jurisdictions had delivered on 106 percent of the regional goal, about $4 million beyond the $70.7 million target.

Meeting delivery targets for Federal Highway Administration funds ensures that the funds are being put to good use, ensures that the region keeps all available funds and  keeps the region in the running for additional funds other states can’t obligate.

Over the years, the state of Washington has received hundreds of millions in additional federal “obligation authority” by always meeting the target.

This year is proving to be among the best ever for project delivery.

Local governments across the state are on track to meet the target well before the August 1st cut-off.

This sets the state up to receive additional obligation authority at the end of the federal fiscal year.

Local governments can expect to receive 34 percent of any additional authority.

The Regional Project Evaluation Committee saw the outstanding regional effort coming – earlier this year it opted out of recommending that PSRC ready additional projects to ensure delivery, for the first time ever.


Transportation project delivery on track

Thanks to the region’s project tracking program, the region has already delivered on 17% of its 2015 target as of January.

The region is on track to meet its 2015 delivery target.

The region is on track to meet its 2015 delivery target.

The federal transportation funding that PSRC distributes requires that certain delivery targets and timelines are met or the funds will be distributed to other regions.

A key goal for 2015 is for projects to secure $71 million in federal highway dollars by this summer. Nearly $12 million in PSRC funds have already been obligated for the year.

The initial deadline for delivery each year is August 1st, to ensure full delivery by the end of the federal fiscal year, September 30th.

PSRC staff is here to help its members obligate these funds quickly.   When our jurisdictions meet that deadline, we’ll be in a position to fund more projects in our region from places that don’t meet their deadline.

PSRC has new tracking procedures to help the region succeed in maximizing federal funds and earning a fair advantage for the region.