What is our current corridor plan?
WSDOT is currently trying to widen SR 522 from two to four lanes between Woodinville and Monroe, and replace intersections with freeway interchanges in a five-stage corridor plan.
What portion have we completed?
Our corridor plan is already delivering results. In 2001 we finished widening SR 522 between SR 9 and Paradise Lake Road. Since then the annual number of collisions dropped nearly 50 percent and fatal collisions at this location were eliminated. Part of a new interchange has been completed in 2006 at Fales/Echo Lake Road. Other portions of the work still lie ahead.
What portion of the corridor plan is nearly complete?
We are nearly finished building a new interchange at the Fales/Echo Lake Road intersection. This project includes a two-lane bridge that carries SR 522 traffic over Fales Road and other safety improvements. When complete, this interchange will reduce congestion, commute times and accident rates. The new interchange opened to traffic on Aug. 17, 2006. We expect to complete all interchange work this October.
What corridor issues are we faced with now?
- In 2003, the Legislature expected that the Regional Transportation Improvement District (RTID) funding package would include money to widen SR 522 between Paradise Lake Road and the Snohomish River, including the Paradise Lake Road Interchange. The Legislature expected construction to begin in 2008.
- That same year, the Washington State Legislature put funding in the Nickel Funding Package for the logical next step, widening SR 522 from the Snohomish River to US 2 in Monroe, starting in 2009.
- The RTID funding package has not yet been fully assembled by county council leaders in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties. Voters now are not expected to act on the proposal until November 2007. Current drafts of the RTID proposal do not include the expected funding for SR 522. Looking ahead today, it is therefore not clear that there will be funding for the SR 522 improvements between Paradise Lake Road and the Snohomish River. This means that we have some funding to upgrade the northern portion from the Snohomish River to Monroe before we fix the more congested center portion from Paradise Lake Road to the Snohomish River.
- The future is even cloudier because the rapidly rising costs of construction from inflation now threaten the ability to even complete the northern portion, from the Snohomish River to Monroe, at the funding level already provided. This issue and others like it around the state will be considered in the Governor’s 2007-09 transportation budget presented to the Legislature in several months.