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Existing conditions

We are studying the number of people walking, biking, rolling, and driving through 16 key intersections between Grand Mound and Centralia. Your input and an assessment of the existing infrastructure will help us understand transportation conditions in the area, to help improve local mobility and freight access. Today, people traveling in the area often interact with freight traffic exiting I-5 at Harrison Avenue (Exit 82) while on their way to locally operating industrial businesses, as shown in the image below.

Photograph of Fords Prairie Elementary School (Facing East at Reynolds Avenue/Taylor Street intersection)
Fords Prairie Elementary School (Facing East at Reynolds Avenue/Taylor Street intersection)

The orange intersections below show where we are assessing existing and future traffic while the study area is where we are focusing our efforts to identify potential transportation improvements.

Map of North Lewis County Industrial Access Transportation Study Area
North Lewis County Industrial Access Transportation Study Area

Within the study area, during the busiest times of the day, congestion occurs around the I-5 interchange at Harrison Avenue but also extends east and west of the interstate. This congestion is caused by an increase in the number of vehicles driving during peak morning and afternoon travel times, and is exacerbated by the diverse mix of freight, retail, commute, and school trips heading to Fords Prairie Elementary School during drop-off and pick-up times. Local congestion is more elevated during the afternoon than in the morning while future growth over time will result in greater congestion outside of these hotspots. Adding to the problem, commercial driveways are closely spaced along Harrison Avenue which presents a high concentration of traffic conflicts and added delays.

Crashes are most common on Harrison Avenue near the I-5 interchange. This interchange provides the closest interstate access for the Port of Centralia industrial parks so freight vehicles must share the same congested roadways with other drivers accessing the interstate, which causes a concentration of vehicles converging into one area.

Map of Collision History (2017-2021)
Collision History (2017-2021)

Transportation improvement costs vary depending on the specific location, needs, and impacts caused by development and growth in background traffic – all of which must be considered before making recommendations. The study area and its surrounding land contain environmentally constrained areas, which are areas prone to landslides or erosion, wetlands, fish or wildlife habitat, protected species, floodplains, or aquifers, park and recreation areas, and buildings or sites with historic significance. Transportation improvements proposed in these areas are much more expensive and take much longer to build than similar projects located in the areas without them. These factors are all considerations when identifying ideal transportation improvements or the areas to make them.

Map of Environmentally Constrained Land
Environmentally Constrained Land