Consistent with public feedback, WSDOT recommends that new revenue for state highways be dedicated first to adequately funding preservation and maintenance with remaining funds balanced between safety and efficiency and highway expansion strategies:
- Fix it first. Adequately funding preservation and maintenance, including completing all court-ordered fish passage barrier removals will cost an additional $17.3 billion over the next twenty years. Investing less than this will multiply costs and reduce available funding for other priorities.
- Prioritize safety and efficiency. After adequately funding preservation and maintenance and factoring in the new revenue from Move Ahead Washington, invest an additional $5.4 billion over the next twenty years in strategies that improve safety and efficiency.
- Economize on expansion. In addition to the new revenue committed to highway expansion in Move Ahead Washington, our recommendation would invest an additional $1.4 billion over the next twenty years on highway expansion projects.
What about Move Ahead Washington?
Midway through the HSP planning process, the 2022 Legislature funded Move Ahead Washington. This sixteen-year, $17 billion transportation revenue package invested approximately $11.4 billion in strategies related to state highway programs. While this investment moves us slightly closer to achieving our goals, new revenue streams will still be necessary in order to achieve the goals of the preferred scenario, particularly when it comes to meeting unmet highway repair needs.
A resilient future
If this plan’s recommendations are realized, the future highway system will be resilient and:
- SOUND. All state bridges and highways – critical to supporting Washington’s existing economy – will remain open and maintained in working condition.
- SAFE. Separate spaces will be available for people who walk, bicycle and roll; new guardrails, roundabouts, and intersection improvements will decrease injuries and deaths. This results in an $8.9 billion safety dividend over twenty years by reducing the societal costs of crashes such as lost household productivity, property damage, workplace costs, and congestion.
- SMART. There will be fewer system gaps for people who walk, ride bikes, or roll; more travel options and transportation efficient communities; smoother and smarter transportation operations; improved fish passage and a healthier environment with fewer miles traveled and vehicle emissions; and equitable and inclusive policies, investments, and outcomes.