Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project?

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The Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project is located at the intersection of State Route (SR) 432, SR 433 and Oregon Way, a critical connection of two Highways of statewide significance that support significant passenger and freight truck movement. It was chosen from a suite of more than $356 million in projects identified along the SR 432 corridor during the SR 432 Highway Improvements and Rail Realignment Study, completed in 2014. This project was chosen because it will have the greatest benefit to safety, congestion, vehicular mobility, travel reliability, and state and local economies.

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 for all vehicles; and
  • Accommodates current and future freight truck and passenger vehicle movement through the intersection and across the region and states.

This phase of the Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project will:

  • Prepare a project Purpose and Need;
  • Prepare initial design concepts;
  • Engage project stakeholders and the public to gather input on the initial design concepts and the scope of the environmental analysis;
  • Gather more data and conduct analysis to use in the refinement of design concepts;
  • Identify build alternative(s) to analyze in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS);
  • Hold a public hearing to gather input on the Draft EIS.
  • Prepare and publish the Final EIS and Record of Decision;
  • Complete SEPA adoption; and
  • Complete 30% engineering plans to move the project into final engineering and construction.

Why is the Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project needed?

In 1968 the Washington Department of Highways (predecessor to the Washington State Department of Transportation) completed a Reconnaissance Report for the State Route (SR) 432 corridor. It was followed by a preliminary design for the Oregon Way Interchange at SR 432 in 1971 to address congestion along Industrial Way that was anticipated to worsen in the future as traffic volumes increase at this intersection in Longview, WA.

Roadway improvements at this intersection are needed because:

    • Traffic volumes are expected to increase 40-50 percent by 2040, and the resulting congestion will cause the intersection to fail;
    • Future congestion will make all travel through this intersection and throughout the industrial corridor and nearby roadways less reliable for freight trucks and passenger vehicles;
    • Future congestion at this intersection will impede and delay critical response and transport times for emergency service providers to the industrial area and from Columbia County, Oregon across the Lewis and Clark Bridge;
    • This intersection has the highest number of reported crashes of any area in the SR 432 corridor and congestion at intersections has been shown to correlate to increased vehicle crashes, resulting in an overall decrease in safety for all travel modes;
    • This intersection is key to maintaining and expanding economic development in the region; and
    • This intersection is part of a key bi-state trade corridor.

What will the Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project accomplish?

Project goals have been identified to balance community, environmental, and economic values while meeting the purpose and need for the project. The following goals strive to support economic vitality and corridor revitalization efforts while promoting a sustainable, healthy and livable community:

  • Maintain local business viability;
  • Improve productivity of vacant lands;
  • Enhance opportunities for new business development;
  • Maintain and create job opportunities;
  • Maintain access to commercial and industrial area and the Columbia River;
  • Minimize adverse impacts to the environment and community;
  • Avoid adverse, disproportionate impacts to special populations within the community;
  • Improve safety for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists; and
  • Enhance the regional, national and international economic competitiveness of the Port of Longview and existing businesses.

What are the economic benefits of completing the Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project?

  • Completing this project is an important component of the long-term economic vitality of Cowlitz County by maintaining critical access to commercial and industrial areas, the Columbia River, regional employment, education, emergency response, and recreational facilities.
  • Reducing congestion improves the economic competitiveness of existing large and small businesses, through reliable and timely freight truck service.
  • Improving freight truck mobility enhances the potential of creating opportunities for new business development on available developable land, such as the Mint Farm Industrial Park; and facilitates the creation of up to 3,390 permanent jobs.
  • Improving traffic operations at the Industrial Way / Oregon Way intersection promotes reliable and efficient transportation infrastructure in the SR 432 corridor. This in turn:

     

    o Enhances the regional, national and international economic competitiveness of the Port of Longview and existing businesses;

    o Improves economic opportunities for international bulk import/export business development at Barlow Point; and

    o Reduces freight truck traffic delays and freight truck operations costs.

Where exactly is the Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project?

The Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project is located in the Longview Industrial Area at the intersection of Industrial Way (SR 432), SR 433 and Oregon Way. Below is a map area of the project location.

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How long will the Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project take to complete?

The graphic below shows the breakdown of the project through publication of the Final EIS and Record of Decision. Final engineering will start in 2019 and construction will then take place in 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Currently, Washington and Oregon do not have plans to replace the Lewis & Clark Bridge. Notwithstanding, due to the limited capacity of the two-lane bridge, traffic volumes on the bridge are constrained, which in turn controls the flow of the northbound traffic approaching the intersection. While existing (2015) northbound traffic experiences backups in the afternoon peak period (4:00-6:00 p.m.) that occasionally exceed the available storage for northbound left and right turns, the projected growth in northbound traffic volumes (2040) traveling on the Lewis and Clark Bridge and going through the intersection will experience significant backups in all northbound movements (left turn, right turn and through) with backups exceeding several thousand feet in length. In its existing configuration, the Industrial Way/Oregon Way intersection will not accommodate the future (2040) northbound traffic volumes traveling on the two-lane bridge. Adding lanes to the Lewis & Clark Bridge will worsen congestion at the Industrial Way/Oregon Way intersection.

Who is paying for the Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project?

Funding for this project phase comes from a combination of federal and state money.

How much money will the Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project cost?

The final engineering, right-of-way acquisition and construction costs for this stand alone project are $85 million and are supplemented by approximately $5 million committed to planning, environmental analysis and preliminary engineering.

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

The Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project Team welcomes and values input from the community and offer three ways in which to stay connected:

  • Attend an open house. There will be at least five open houses over the next two years; the first was on September 17, 2015, the second was on March 16, 2016, the third was on September 21, 2016, the fourth was on January 26, 2017, and the fifth is in Spring 2018. Please visit the event page on our project website at www.IndustrialOregonWay.org for this and other opportunities to learn about the project. 
  • Ask for a presentation from our speaker’s bureau. Belong to a service organization or community group? Request a presentation and we will do our best to accommodate your schedule.
  • E-mail the Project Team at IndustrialOregonWay@co.cowlitz.wa.us 

How is this project different from previous studies along the Industrial Way / Oregon Way Industrial Corridor?

The Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project builds on previous studies that identified highway infrastructure deficiencies. These needs were recognized as far back as 1968 when the Washington Department of Highways (predecessor to the Washington State Department of Transportation) completed its 1968 Reconnaissance Report and in 1971 prepared a preliminary design of the Oregon Way Interchange at SR 432. Several studies followed in the 1980’s thru 2014 – all with one consistent finding: a grade separation is needed at the Industrial Way / Oregon Way intersection to meet forecast long-term growth in freight truck and passenger vehicle traffic. Recent studies and related key findings include:

2001: SR 432 Route Development Plan
Key Findings
: The Industrial Way / Oregon Way intersection is identified as a High Accident Location. The demand at all left-turn movements will exceed the capacity of the left-turn lanes in 2017. A grade separation is needed at the Industrial Way / Oregon Way intersection.

2009: SR 432 Realignment Feasibility Study
Key Findings
: Traffic volumes will increase by 60% between 2007 and 2030, which will degrade traffic operations. A grade separation is needed at the Industrial Way / Oregon Way intersection.

2014: SR 432 Highway Improvements and Rail Realignment Study
Key Findings
: The Industrial Way / Oregon Way intersection has the highest number of reported crashes compared to all the other intersections in the SR 432 corridor. The demand at all Left-turn movements in the PM peak period will fill the capacity of the left turn lanes in 2035. A grade separation is needed at the Industrial Way / Oregon Way intersection.

Is this project tied to the Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export facility?

No, there is no connection between the Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project, which is part of studies dating back to 1968, and Millennium. The proposed intersection improvements will not add rail capacity or make any significant improvements to the rail infrastructure that would facilitate growth in rail operations by any existing or future rail-dependent business entity in the SR 432 corridor. As stated in the Industrial Way / Oregon Way Intersection Project purpose, this project intends to improve the current and future movement of freight truck and passenger vehicles traveling through the intersection.

Why does not 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 during its impact analysis it is the role of the permitting agencies to consider mitigation steps.Mitigationaccording to 40 CFR § 1508.20, includes: a) Avoiding the impact, b) Minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude, c) Rectifying the impact by repairing,rehabilitating or restoring, d) Reducing or eliminating the impact over time, and e) Compensating by replacing or providing substitute resources.