Project design on phase 7A (9 Mile Hill to Woodward Canyon) is about 30% complete. Project design on phase 7B (Woodward Canyon to Frenchtown) is about 20% complete.
Why is WSDOT
widening US 12?
This project is part of a corridor plan to widen US Highway 12 from the junction of the Snake River and SR 124 to Walla Walla. Since 1991, this corridor has experienced over 1,079 collisions causing 414 injuries; including 30 deaths. To date, all but 24 miles have been replaced or widened to four lanes.
Each year over eleven million tons of cargo travel this section of US 12. Trucks and slow moving recreation vehicles create congestion on this two-lane section of the highway.
The End Result
Phase 7 of the corridor project widens US 12 from Nine Mile Hill to the Frenchtown Monument. This section of US highway 12 will be relocated up to one mile north and constructed as a four-lane divided highway. When construction funding becomes available, WSDOT and a contractor will construct approximately eleven miles of new highway with fewer curves and four intersections at Nine Mile Hill, Touchet North Road, Woodward Canyon Road and Lower Dry Creek Road.
- Increased safety. The proposed four-lane highway will increase safety by decreasing the number of intersections on US 12 while separating opposing traffic with a wide median. Roadway curves will be straightened and two new channelized intersections allow safe access to and from the new roadway.
- Relieved congestion: A four-lane highway will improve traffic flow and provide for passing of longer, slower equipment.
- Freight mobility: Building a four-lane highway will ease conflicts between slow moving trucks and passenger vehicles. Commercial trucks make up as much as 33 percent of the traffic stream, causing slowdowns and safety concerns.
What is the project timeline?
Limited funding is available to purchase a portion of the right of way needed for the project.
Additional funding is needed to complete 30% of the design and purchase needed right of way. Once funding is available, it willl take about 18 months to complete the contract plans and acquire additional right of way, and complete environmental permits then begin construction.
Funding for the design and a portion of the right of way for this project comes from the following sources:
- Federal Funding
Existing Federal - $5.1 million
- State Funding
Existing Funds - $0.2 million
- $2 million is available to begin purchasing right of way
- Estimated total project cost (design, right of way, construction) - $132 million. About $126 million is needed to complete Phase 7
Construction for this project is not yet funded
How can I get more information?
Kerry Grant, WSDOT Design Project engineer
Jason Smith, WSDOT Environmental Manager
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