- Project design on phase 7 is 30% complete.
- WSDOT is in the process of studying the flood plain and will present findings at a future public meeting.
Why is WSDOT
widening US 12?
This project is part of a corridor plan to expand US 12 to a four-lane highway from the Snake River and the junction of US 12 with SR 124 to
the city of Walla Walla.
This corridor carries over ten million tons of cargo
every year; since 1991 it has experienced over 1,000 collisions resulting in over 400 injuries and 30 deaths.
Four-laning the existing US 12 in its current location is not feasible near Touchet or Lowden due to numerous residential and commercial
accesses. A proposed four-lane highway to the north of the existing highway will improve safety and relieve congestion.
The End Result
Phase 7 of the corridor project will relocate a proposed US 12 north of the existing highway from Nine Mile Hill to the vicinity of Frenchtown.
This 11-mile section will be constructed to four lanes, include a wide median and provide new connections at Nine Mile Hill, Touchet North Road, Woodward Canyon Road and Lower Dry Creek Road.
- Increased safety. The proposed four-lane highway will increase safety by decreasing the number of intersections on US 12 while separating opposing traffic with a wide median. Roadway curves will be straightened and two new channelized intersections allow safe access to and from the new roadway.
- Relieved congestion: A four-lane highway will improve traffic flow and provide for passing of longer, slower equipment.
- Freight mobility: Building a four-lane highway will ease conflicts between slow moving trucks and passenger vehicles. Commercial trucks make up as much as 33 percent of the traffic stream, causing slowdowns and safety concerns.
What is the project timeline?
Limited funding is available to purchase a portion of the right of way needed for the project.
Additional funding is needed to complete 30% of the design and purchase needed right of way. Once funding is available, it will take about 18 months to complete the contract plans and acquire additional right of way, and complete environmental permits then begin construction.
Funding for the design and a portion of the right of way for this project comes from the following sources:
- Federal Funding
Existing Federal - $5.1 million
- State Funding
Existing Funds - $0.2 million
- $2 million is available to begin purchasing right of way
- Estimated total project cost (design, right of way, construction) - $132 million. About $126 million is needed to complete Phase 7
Construction for this project is not yet funded
How can I get more information?
Kerry Grant, WSDOT Design Project engineer
Bill Sauriol, WSDOT Environmental Manager
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