Staff Responsibility: Jo Allen Gause
The Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) I-5/SR 509 Corridor Completion and Freight Improvement Project’s master plan calls for three lanes (two general purpose lanes and one HOV lane) in each direction with more than six miles of widening on Interstate 5 to mitigate the traffic brought on by the extension. The project would provide greatly improved access to the Sea-Tac International Airport and the Port of Seattle from the south with congestion relief on local arterials and create a greater opportunity for stimulating economic development.
With a price tag of well over $1.2 billion and many other competing priorities in the region, however, several attempts at funding the project using traditional revenue sources have failed. As a result, the state legislature and local partners have concluded that in order to implement this important regional project, toll funding is needed, even though tolling has not been used in this area. The application of tolling to the SR 509 project can not only generate funds for the project, but also limit initial demand—allowing WSDOT to scale and phase the project.
The goal of this pilot test was to demonstrate how the Transportation for Communities—Advancing Projects through Partnerships (TCAPP) web tool could help the project stakeholders and local partners define the Phase 1 scope of the project by taking tolling into consideration.
The WSDOT project team found the TCAPP program to be most helpful in identifying and involving key project stakeholders early on in the planning process. The project had already begun key stakeholder involvement with its steering and executive committees, but TCAPP helped refine and improve early involvement of those key stakeholders. The earlier version of the TCAPP tool provided various techniques under the stakeholder collaboration assessment module. Following these techniques, the project team conducted a thorough assessment of the project stakeholder committee, assembled during the development of the environmental impact statement, to determine if the full range of interests and perspectives were represented. The WSDOT team was able to successfully define Phase 1 of the project. The resulting design reduced the initial project implementation cost by approximately $400 million while preserving most of the project benefits.
Status: This project is complete.
Product Availability: The final report, Pilot Test of the TCAPP Collaborative Decision-Making Framework Including a Self-Assessment Methodology: Washington State’s SR 509 Project, is available at https://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/169555.aspx.