Thank You For Your Input: Two “Build” Alternatives Advance to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Further Study

April 2017

Cowlitz County, in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, is studying ways to address traffic congestion, travel reliability for vehicles, emergency response, freight truck mobility, and safety issues at one of the busiest truck tonnage intersections in our state – Industrial Way (State Route 432), State Route 433 and Oregon Way.

The project team conducted a two-step screening process to narrow the range of alternatives to be studied in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the results of which were shared with the public at two open houses:

September 21, 2016 Open House: The first step of the screening process (Operational Performance Screening) focused on how well traffic would operate. This screening resulted in four “build” alternatives advancing to the second step of the screening process.

January 26, 2017 Open House: The second step of the screening process (Context and Cost Screening) focused on safety, impacts to businesses and residences, local travel circulation, construction staging, pedestrian and bicycle connectivity, environmental impacts and cost.

Following its review of the second step screening results, the project’s Executive Committee recommended advancing two “build” alternatives to analyze in the Draft EIS, which will also consider a “no build” alternative (in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The two build alternatives advancing to the Draft EIS are shown in the figures below.

Draft EIS Alternative: Refined Grade Separated Option A (GSA)
Draft EIS Alternative: Refined Partial Grade Separated Option B (PGSB)

There are several contrasting design features between the two build alternatives advancing to the Draft EIS, notably the following:

  • Refined Grade Separated Option A (GSA) includes realigning the existing Reynolds Lead railroad across the intersection. Refined Partial Grade Separated Option B (PGSB) does not include realigning Reynolds Lead railroad.
  • GSA elevates all traffic movements of the new intersection (shown in grey on the graphics). PGSB elevates some of the movements but keeps east-west through traffic movement on the ground (shown in purple on the graphics).
  • At-grade circulation for the east and north legs of GSA differ from those of PGSB.

Upcoming Work

The project team is now working on preparing a Draft EIS in compliance with NEPA. The purpose of the EIS is to disclose anticipated impacts and benefits resulting from the project, identify mitigation measures and provide opportunities for public input. All three alternatives (the two “build” and the “no-build” alternatives) will be analyzed in the Draft EIS. Publication of the Draft EIS is anticipated in Fall 2017 followed by a 45-day public comment period with a Public Hearing/Open House.

Want to learn more about the project?

If you have a group or organization that would like to learn more about the Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project, please contact us. Email or Phone: IndustrialOregonWay@co.cowlitz.wa.us or 360-577-3030.

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