Sandy Williams Connecting Communities Program
Learn how we are making walking, bicycling, and rolling more comfortable and welcoming in overburdened communities along state highways.
The Sandy Williams Connecting Communities Program (SWCCP) was established to improve active transportation connectivity for people walking, biking, and rolling along and across current and former state highways. The program focuses on high equity needs communities, which are those most affected by environmental health disparities and barriers to opportunities. The program name honors Sandy Williams, a Black community activist who worked tirelessly to reconnect her Spokane neighborhood after the construction of Interstate 90 split it in half. You can learn more about Sandy William's story and the journey to creating the SWCCP in our online storymap. As part of the Move Ahead Washington transportation package, approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Inslee in March 2022, $50 million was allocated over five years to:
- Repair transportation inequities by directing investments to environmentally overburdened, vulnerable, and underserved communities
- Improve access to community destinations and services
- Provide contracting opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses and community-based organizations
Once awarded, SWCCP funds can be leveraged as a local match funding for federal funds including RAISE grants, Safe Streets for All grants, Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program grants, and WSDOT-administered federal funding sources. Additionally, funds can bring resources to projects where state agencies such as the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB), regional, or local funding cannot fully meet needs.
The Year One project list dedicates $12 million in funding for 12 projects across the state and the start-up of the program. Find our interactive map of SWCC projects and learn more about the “why” behind SWCC on our online storymap.
The program operates through invitation-only to locations that have been prioritized based on the legislation; no grant applications are required. To identify projects for Year One funding, WSDOT used public input gathered through local planning efforts and focused on high equity needs communities. A high equity needs community is an area with high proportions of residents who are environmentally overburdened, economically vulnerable, and living in neighborhoods where state highway facilities affect their access to transportation and opportunity. Given the program’s emphasis on addressing barriers created by state highways, a number of projects will be led by WSDOT regions in partnership with communities and tribes.
Subsequent years of the program will offer more opportunities to work directly with communities to identify and develop projects and outreach strategies that reflect best practices for equitable engagement. Outreach strategies will reflect best practices for equitable engagement and community benefit, including contracting opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses and community-based organizations.
Future funding consideration
SWCCP is committed to regular community participation and guidance that offers inclusive opportunities for meaningful involvement in decision-making. If you would like a project in your area to be considered for future funding, please visit the online StoryMap to provide information on where you encounter barriers to walking, biking, and rolling in your community. We want to hear from you! Share your ideas and concerns with your city, county, or tribal government as well so the project needs are recorded in all relevant plans.
If you are with a public agency and would like more information on this program, please contact Celeste Gilman, Strategic Policy Administrator with WSDOT's Active Transportation Division, at WSDOTActive@wsdot.wa.gov.
Stay tuned for more ways to stay involved and provide input on our projects.
Diverse and inclusive contracting
WSDOT is committed to ensuring that all Washingtonians have access to the thousands of good paying jobs generated by our projects. We establish goals for each project to promote participation and inclusion of small, disadvantaged business enterprises owned by minorities, veterans, or women (MSVWBE and DBE firms). See equal opportunity in contracting for more information and resources about working with WSDOT.
On projects supported entirely with state funds, WSDOT has set a voluntary goal of 26 percent participation by minority-, small, veteran- and women-owned business enterprises (MSVWBEs). Please read WSDOT's Diversity Roadmap (PDF 284KB) for additional information on WSDOT's inclusive contracting goals.