What is the Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project (IWOW)?

IWOW is designed to elevate the Industrial Way (State Route 432) and Oregon Way (State Route 433) intersection and eliminate three rail crossings by grade separating the roadway and rail lines. Grade separating means that vehicular traffic will be able to travel through the new intersection above ground level, separated from the rail lines below.

By elevating the intersection, IWOW will improve mobility for everyone who travels through this heavily congested corridor. It will also provide better access to the jobs and businesses located on the banks of the Columbia River—an international trade corridor that connects our region to the global economy.

The purpose of the Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project is to develop an affordable long-term solution that:

  • Maintains or improves emergency response;
  • Improves travel reliability and safety for all users; and
  • Facilitates more efficient travel throughout the corridor to support economic opportunities across the region.

Why is the IWOW project needed?

Washington state transportation leaders first identified deficiencies along the SR 432 corridor as early as 1968. In 2014, the IWOW project was selected as a key step to improve traffic operations and safety in the region because it brought the greatest benefits for congestion relief, freight truck mobility and safety.

With growth and development opportunities in the area, traffic volumes in the intersection are expected to grow 40 to 50 percent by 2040 and an estimated 24 and 30 trains will cross through the intersection each day.

In response to the current state and future growth of the area, the purpose of the project is to develop an affordable long-term solution for this intersection that:

  • Maintains or improves emergency response;
  • Improves travel reliability and safety for all users; and
  • Facilitates more efficient travel throughout the corridor to support economic opportunities across the region.

Why is there a new project design?

In 2018, a locally preferred design alternative was identified. However, as the preferred design was refined, the estimated project’s 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.

Engineers, planners and designers began an iterative process to simplify the project design and reduce its cost while maintaining its benefits. In late 2019, a new design emerged that came within striking distance of the budget by streamlining its footprint, rightsizing the number of structures involved and simplifying how the roadways are laid out.

How long will the IWOW project take to complete?

Because the project had to be redesigned to meet budgeted funds, construction is now anticipated to start in 2023 and go through 2025.

The project team will be working to complete preliminary engineering, environmental review and permitting processes, and right-of-way acquisitions between now and 2023. Additional schedule information is available online.

Why improve this intersection instead of replacing the two-lane Lewis & Clark Bridge with a four-lane bridge?

By improving the intersection first, we position the corridor to better handle traffic volumes that would increase if a new bridge is built. Plus, we can benefit from congestion relief sooner, and at a lower cost, than if we replaced the bridge first.

Who is paying for the project?

The Washington State Legislature allocated $85 million for the design, engineering and construction of the project in the 2015 Connecting Washington package. Current design refinements show a total project cost of $98 million. The City of Longview and its partners sought an additional $13 million through federal grants. While the IWOW project was not awarded federal grant funds in 2020, WSDOT is continuing work with local partners to modify the design of the project and reduce the cost while maintaining key benefits.

Why don’t existing private business(es) pay for the improvements?

Industrial Way (SR 432) and SR 433 are state routes. These two state routes are designated by the Legislature as “Highways of Statewide Significance” under RCW 47.06.140 because they are needed to connect communities and support the state’s economy by moving cargo, including imported and exported, across our state. Therefore, taxpayers, including businesses that contribute to the tax base, are already paying for the improvements. It is the role of the local jurisdictions, state and federal governments to provide the public roadway infrastructure needed to: (a) move goods on and off the river, and to and from our land-based industries and other regions across our state, (b) allow our existing businesses to compete locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, and (c) enhance the economic potential of our region by facilitating new business development on our available developable land, such as the Mint Farm Industrial Park, to grow existing businesses, to attract new companies, and to create new jobs.

Could a future business be held responsible for its transportation impacts?

Yes, if the impacts are determined to be significant. If a proposed development that goes through the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)/National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process is determined to cause a significant impact the NEPA/SEPA lead agency works with the developer and agencies with jurisdiction/expertise to consider mitigation to offset impacts. WSDOT can request mitigation, through the SEPA/NEPA review process, or work through the local agencies to fashion developer mitigation requirements.  Mitigation may be in the form of developer constructed transportation improvements, financial contributions to programmed WSDOT projects, and/or dedication of property for right of way.

How can I participate, share my views or ask a question?

The IWOW Project Team welcomes and values input from the community. There are many ways to stay connected:

  • Sign up for email updates about the project.
  • Request a presentation from our speaker’s bureau for your organization or community group.
  • Submit your question or comment to the Project Team on our comment form.