SR 161 Study

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SR 161 - 31st Ave SW Overcrossing - Widening Study


November 2017

  • WSDOT study team with help from local stakeholders has developed the vision and need statements for the study and also identified potential improvement strategies.
    • Vision Statement: Provide a safe and efficient multimodal transportation system that improves mobility by reducing congestion consistent with anticipated growth.
    • Problem Statement: Traffic volumes over the SR 161 bridge exceeds current capacity leading to traffic queuing, traffic delay, and multimodal limitations.
  • The study online open house was completed on Nov. 6. Thank you to all those who participated and provided feedback. View the open house materials, potential improvement strategies and survey questions (pdf 1.4 mb).

Why is WSDOT studying this bridge?
The merge of State Route 161/31st Avenue over State Route 512 in Puyallup is an important overpass for Pierce County residents and business owners. The SR 161 Undercrossing (also known as an overpass) is currently two/three lanes and a known bottleneck for commuters. The overpass is also designated as a functionally obsolete structure. The study will identify solutions to improve the predictable movement of goods and people along the State Route 161 corridor in the vicinity of State Route 512 using practical solution strategies.

The Washington State Legislature directed WSDOT to conduct a feasibility study for widening and improvement of the SR 161/31st Avenue Overpass.

The End Result
The feasibility study process will provide recommended strategies to reduce traffic congestion and improve traffic operations. The analysis will look at improving traffic operations along 31st Avenue SW (and SR 161) from 9th Street SW to 94th Avenue E to the intersection of SR 161/35th Avenue SE.

Project Benefits
The intent of this study is to provide a sustainable and integrated multimodal corridor which improves mobility by reducing congestion with bridge widening and non-motorized improvements.

What is the project timeline?
Fall 2016 - Gather data, analyze existing and future conditions and organize a stakeholder working group.
Spring to Fall 2017 - Identify and analyze possible improvement strategies, and stakeholder and community engagement.
Fall 2017 to Winter 2018 - Draft and finalize study report and provide recommendations.

Financial Information
Funding for this study is provided by the Washington State Motor Vehicle Account. A total of $1.1 million dollars was allocated during the 2013-2015 biennium.

How can I get more information?

Dennis Engel, Multimodal Planning Manager
Phone 360-357-2651

Forest Sutmiller, Study Lead
Phone 360-704-3208

Claudia Bingham Baker, Communications Manager
Phone 360-357-2789