The public will have an opportunity to ask questions and comment on the draft 2024 Highway System Plan during a virtual public meeting hosted by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) on Thursday, Nov. 30. The online meeting will be hosted on Microsoft Teams and the meeting link can be found on the Highway System Plan website.
According to a WSDOT news release, the draft 2024 Highway System Plan outlines investment recommendations for preserving, maintaining, improving and operating state highways for the next 20 years, and is available for public review and comment through Monday, Dec. 18.
WSDOT last published the plan in 2007. The new draft plan used scenario planning with extensive feedback to explore different investment alternatives and make the strongest recommendation.
Communities from around the state provided input to the draft Highway System plan to reflect transportation priorities. These priorities form the core of WSDOT’s recommendation to the Legislature.
It proposes that new revenue for state highways over the next 20 years be dedicated first to adequately funding preservation and maintenance. It also recommends that remaining funds should be balanced between safety and efficiency strategies and highway expansion projects at a 2:1 ratio. These recommendations include:
– All bridges and highways remain open and are maintained in working condition.
– Fewer crashes on state highways by providing safer travel spaces for all modes.
– Healthier environment. Removal of fish passage barriers, fewer vehicle miles traveled, and decreased greenhouse gas emissions.
– More equitable outcomes. Agency investments and policy decisions that are equitable and inclusive.
– More walking, bicycling, and rolling. Closure of most active transportation gaps on, next to, or across highways.
– More travel options. Reduction of commute trips by coordinating with cities, employers, and transit to add or support more modes and travel options.
– Smoother transportation operations. More effective handling of crashes, information, and low-cost solutions.
Draft 2024 Highway System Plan open house information
When: 2 to 3 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 30
Where: Microsoft Teams: bit.ly/HwySystemPlanMeeting
Details: A 20-minute presentation will begin promptly at 2 p.m. Staff will be on hand to answer questions and take comments. A recording and presentation materials will be made available on the Highway System Plan website within two business days of the event.
The draft plan will incorporate public comments into the final document, which is anticipated to be approved in the first quarter of 2024.
Free, temporary internet access is available to those who do not have broadband service in locations throughout the state. To find the nearest Drive-In WiFi Hotspot visit: www.commerce.wa.gov/building-infrastructure/washington-state-drive-in-wifi-hotspots-location-finder.