Welcome to the Industrial Way (State Route 432)/Oregon Way Oregon Way (State Route 433) Intersection Project, or as we call it, IWOW. We invite you to learn about the project and its history, explore resources and connect with us to stay informed. Thank you for visiting!
As early as 1968, Washington state transportation leaders first identified the need for improvements along the Industrial Way corridor. Several studies were conducted beginning in the 1980s, and in 2014 the SR 432 Highway Improvements and Rail Realignment Study identified over $356 million dollars in necessary improvements.
In 2015, the Washington State Legislature allocated $85 million for the design, engineering, and construction of the Industrial Way/Oregon Way (IWOW) project. The project was selected as a key first step because it brought the greatest benefits for congestion relief, freight truck mobility and safety. The purpose of the project is to develop an affordable long-term roadway solution that improves travel reliability, accommodates current and future freight traffic, and maintains or improves emergency response at the Industrial Way/Oregon Way Intersection in Longview.
The IWOW project is being designed to reduce traffic backups, improve travel reliability, maintain, or improve emergency response and facilitate more efficient travel through the corridor to support economic opportunities across the region. The project has identified a need for grade separation of roadways and railways as a means to achieve these improvements. Grade separation can mean bridges over roadways and rail lines to allow more efficient movement of vehicles traveling through the intersection without the need to stop at a signal or stop at a train crossing. This can mean that vehicular traffic, including emergency services, will be able to travel through the new intersection above ground level, independent of the rail lines or roadways below. Elevating portions of the intersection will improve mobility for everyone who travels through this heavily congested corridor.
The environmental review process began in 2015. In the spring of 2018, an initial preferred design alternative was identified. As the preferred design was refined, the estimated project cost came in much higher than the funded $85 million, in part because we discovered we would need to build deeper foundations than expected to support the proposed bridge structures, due to poor soil conditions in the area. Given the extensive effort to date and the complicated context of the project area, we have exhausted all planning level design refinements in an attempt to bring the total cost to within the originally allocated $85 million budget and address all needs.
We have identified a much-simplified option which is estimated to cost $98.4 million. This latest, single-phase design concept, is designed to reduce congestion by optimizing traffic lanes and signal timing, while eliminating travel delays from trains blocking the roadway by grade separating the intersection of Industrial Way and Oregon Way.
The updated design features:
- Smaller, simplified bridges and bridge types
- Realigned rail lines to reduce right-of-way costs
- Shorter timeframe for road closures on Oregon Way during construction
This new design is a simplified version of one of the original alternatives studied in the environmental review phase. While this concept is consistent with the project purpose and need, the solution includes trade-offs that will need to be reassessed as the project looks to identify a multiple-phase concept in collaboration with the project stakeholders.
Our goals remain the same: to improve travel reliability and safety for all users, to maintain or improve emergency response times and to facilitate more efficient travel through the intersection to support economic opportunities regionwide.
What happens if nothing is done at the intersection?
By 2040, congestion during the afternoon rush hour would be four times worse than today’s conditions.
Additional funding is necessary for any path forward, single phase or multi-phase. Given the project’s funding status, in coordination with our local partners, we started looking at paths to move the project forward:
- Look for ways to get more funding.
- In 2020 and 2021, our project partners, under the City of Longview’s lead, worked to secure more funding through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) and Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) discretionary grant programs to make up a $13.4 million funding gap identified during design alternative analysis. Unfortunately, IWOW was not awarded additional funding.
- In 2022, Governor Inslee included an additional $13.4 million via his proposed 2022 supplemental budget. If the legislature funds the increase in the Governor’s proposed budget, it will be available for use after session ends on March 20, 2022, and the Governor signs the budget into law.
- Explore ways to build the project in more than one phase.
- It’s important to highlight that this path has tradeoffs. Current existing funding would only cover an initial phase.
- While an initial phase would be within the currently available funding, when projects are built in phases the combined cost of the phases is more expensive than if the project was built all at once.
- When projects are constructed in phases, only parts of the project would be built at one time. This provides faster congestion relief in some areas, but all the project benefits do not happen until all phases are complete when more funding is available.
- We are working with the Technical Advisory Committee, Executive Committee, and local partners to explore phasing, including setting goals and priorities for a phased approach, which will be used to evaluate phasing alternatives and inform decisions moving forward.
As part of our ongoing work to deliver the IWOW project, we have purchased nearby properties from willing sellers – properties needed for the project regardless of the overall design concept. This project activity can occur years before construction begins. In fall 2021, crews removed the strip mall that included a Subway and Starbucks at the intersection of Oregon Way and Industrial Way.
It is too soon to tell when construction could begin. Project design continues via a phased approach and the possibility of added funding will inform the project’s schedule. We recognize that this project is important to the community. We remain committed to working with local partners to develop an affordable solution that meets community needs.