History and Background

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

At the same time, investments made by the federal government, Port of Longview, City of Longview, private corporations and other agencies grew the economic viability of the area, molding it into a highly attractive place for industrial and trade-related jobs. The growth brought money to the local economy but also increased travel demands on the roadways that serve the area.

In 2015, the Washington State Legislature funded the project with $85 million in its Connecting Washington transportation funding package. The project’s environmental review phase began shortly thereafter, and in 2018, the potential designs were narrowed from over 35 to two alternatives. Both proved to be beyond the project’s budget, however, and the project team began an iterative process to refine and redesign the project to be more affordable while delivering safety and mobility solutions to keep traffic flowing. Learn more about the updated design here.

Timeline

1968: Washington State’s Highways Department completes a Reconnaissance Report for the State Route (SR) 432 corridor

1971: A preliminary design for an Oregon Way Interchange is developed

1988—1990: Early planning begins to deepen the shipping channel in the Columbia River

1989: SR 432 Route Jurisdiction Study is completed (SR 411 to SR 4), and Industrial Way is designated to be SR 432

1995—1998: City of Longview acquires the Mint Farm and develops it into an industrial park

1999—2000: Port of Longview builds Berth 8

2001: SR 432 Route Development Plan completed (from Exit 36 of Interstate 5 to SR 4)

2002: Port of Longview completes the Fibre Way overpass

2002—2005: Port of Longview constructs its Industrial Rail Corridor

2006—2010: Columbia River Channel Deepening

2009:

  • The State of Washington receives stimulus funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for high speed rail initiatives statewide
  • SR 432 Rail Realignment Feasibility Study is completed (Tennant Way to 3rd Ave and Industrial Way from 3rd Ave to 38th Ave)

2009—2011: SR 432/Talley Way Interchange improvements are built, modernizing Exit 36 on Interstate 5

2012: BNSF Railway begins capacity improvements

2015: Washington legislators fund what is now called the IWOW Intersection Project in the Connecting Washington package

2015—2018: IWOW Intersection Project begins its environmental analysis (NEPA/SEPA) phase and moves forward with preliminary engineering and design; 5 public open houses are held between September 2017 and March 2018

2016: The IWOW project’s Final scoping summary report is published

2018: The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is published and opens for public comment

2018—present: Design process reboots to develop a more affordable alternative

2020: IWOW project partners submit applications for federal grants to fund a modified design