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Why are we updating it now, and how?

The last WSDOT Highway System Plan covered the period of 2007 to 2026 and this process will renew the plan for the next twenty years.

WSDOT needs a plan to:

  • Address today’s needs — including changes in technology, preservation and maintenance shortfalls, demographic shifts, and state fish passage mandates.
  • Reflect a modern strategy — WSDOT’s Practical Solutions approach prioritizes overall system performance and maintenance over expansion.
  • Anticipate future needs — including system resilience, clean energy, and the rise of autonomous vehicles.
  • Describe the role of highways within the overall transportation system — interstates, US routes, and state routes are part of an integrated multimodal transportation system.

The Highway System Plan is being updated in a world of uncertain revenue, ongoing system needs and changing priorities.

How will the Highway System Plan address an uncertain future?

WSDOT will create and analyze possible versions of the future, in a process called scenario planning, and your input will help inform:

  • A baseline scenario, where future spending looks like current spending
  • A vision scenario, where most needs are fully funded, and
  • Some intermediate scenarios, where future spending varies.

The Highway System Plan scenario analysis will help WSDOT set performance expectations and guide recommendations for highway investments.