The Tumwater City Council approved Resolution No. R2021-007, a comprehensive six-year transportation plan for the city, beginning from 2022 to 2027.
Transportation Manager Mary Heather Ames presented details during the regular city council meeting on June 1. The comprehensive plan specifies all the projects to improve the city’s transportation system that the city plans to invest in starting next year.
These projects include construction for the following purposes; to upgrade road traffic and capacity, to preserve and enhance the roads, and to provide facilities for multimodal transport.
To improve road capacity, Ames presented the construction of the I-5 Trosper Road Reconfiguration, designed to relieve traffic on both Capitol Boulevard and the Trosper Road freeway overpass. A new road would realign northbound Interstate 5 and provide a new extension of 6th Avenue between Trosper Road and Lee Street.
For preservation and enhancement, Ames also highlighted the Capitol Boulevard Corridor Plan. The plan focuses on the section between the Southgate Shopping Center and Israel road. It is a design-only project which aims to improve the corridor’s aesthetic appeal as well as provide facilities for the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
For multimodal transport, the city plans to make improvements at the intersection of Israel Road and Linderson Way. The construction is planned to include building refuge islands, reconstruction of sidewalk segments, signal improvement, as well as adding bike and pedestrian lanes.
There are also projects which needed funding including, the Tumwater Boulevard Interchange design and the Rural Road and Linwood Avenue shoulder improvements. For the Tumwater Boulevard Interchange design, the city seeks funds to provide a temporary signal and construction for one roundabout.
For the Rural Road and Linwood Avenue shoulder improvements, the city needs to identify funding to widen the shoulder along Rural Wood from 48th Avenue near pioneer street.
The transportation manager also announced that the Old Highway 99 Corridor study, which tackles issues regarding multimodal safety and mobility issues, is set to be completed for this year.
The six-year project is a part of a state-wide plan to improve local transportation systems.
During the presentation, council member Leatta Dahlhoff asked the transport manager how they determine which projects to prioritize. “It's a balancing act,” Ames explained. She continued by saying that the city considers different factors in deciding which projects they would like to include. These factors include the proximity of the road to services, the traffic in the area, and the number of users who can benefit from the project.