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What is the HSP?

A road map for sustaining our state highways for everyone

The Highway System Plan makes recommendations about highway program funding and how we could make financially feasible system improvements over the next 20 years. It serves as a blueprint for how we should preserve, maintain, improve, and operate state highways in Washington for all people using all types of transportation.

Why plan for highways?

WSDOT is committed to providing safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation options for all travelers, and planning for state highways matters—over half of vehicle travel in Washington occurs on state highways. People drive cars and ride vanpools and buses on state highways to reach jobs, schools, and services. Truckers transport goods to market on state highways. People walk, bicycle, roll, and access transit along and across state highways.

We need a plan that will address today’s needs while also considering future changes and the role that our highways play within the overall transportation system. The last Highway System Plan was published in 2007. Since then, needs have changed and it is important to ensure that our plan for the next 20 years considers things like changes in technology, available funding, the impacts of deferred preservation, and shifting demographics.

Map showing Highways of Statewide Significance in Washington state
Highways of Statewide Significance in Washington state

Scenario planning

The goal of transportation planning is identify and evaluate future transport needs to inform decisions, and the goal of this HSP is to identify the right amount and mix of funding that should be spent on the following types of highway programs:

  • Highway repair (includes preservation and maintenance)
  • Safety and efficiency (includes safety, environmental retrofits, operations, public transportation, and active transportation)
  • Highway expansion (include mobility and economic vitality)

This process considered how different funding levels for each of these programs would likely result in different transportation futures. Ultimately, the Highway System Plan scenario analysis helped WSDOT set performance expectations and guide recommendations for future highway investments.

You can learn more about the scenario planning process on the following pages.

More information

Previous editions of the HSP can be found at the Washington State Library.