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Transportation Priorities


Crews replace joints on the Latah Creek bridge west of downtown Spokane

Crews are improving the pavement on I-90 west of downtown Spokane, where years of pounding led to severe ruts and cracks. The worst rutting was on the Latah Creek Bridge where crews replaced the pavement and the bridge joints.

The cost of preserving the highway system

The estimated replacement cost for the Washington State Highway System is approximately $266 billion in 2006 dollars. This estimate includes approximate construction costs for all state-owned highways, major and minor bridges and structures, the ferry system vessels and terminals, and right-of-way and real estate costs. It does not include state owned airports and other non-highway modes.
WSDOT is reducing traffic congestion, preserving transportation infrastructure and making safer roadways.

Preserving our system of more than 7,000 centerline miles of highways, 3,400 bridges and ramps, 39 tunnels and covered sections of highways, 42 safety rest areas and a system of more than 185 numbered highway routes is an enormous undertaking that grows each year with the construction of new road projects.

Why is preservation of our transportation system important?

Maintaining our transportation system ensures that our system of roads, bridges and infrastructure will continue to perform at its best for as long as possible. This investment in our infrastructure is critical because the cost to replace these facilities is tremendously high and growing higher all the time.

Preservation Benefits

Safety: We keep highway pavement in good condition so that vehicles won't slip and slide in wet weather and to make paved surfaces last as long as possible.  We also restore worn-out features such as signs, striping, and guardrails for driver safety.
Environment: Preservation efforts also protect the environment by controlling stormwater runoff, restoring fish habitats by replacing culverts, and keeping highway corridors clean.
Mobility:Highways, bridges and ferries keep drivers and freight moving throughout the state. Maintaining these facilities ensures these critical transportation links are sustained into the future.  

What is WSDOT doing to preserve our transportation system?

We invest in a regular schedule of inspections, preventative maintenance activities and replacement construction projects.  We also give assistance through grants to public transportation providers and local airports to help them preserve and maintain those facilities and services.

Preservation Activities

Bi-annual bridge inspections
Maintenance Accountability Process

Preventative maintenance
unstable slope repair
dowel bar retrofits
pothole repair
culvert repairs/replacement
Seismic retrofit program

Replacement projects

Ferry vessels and terminals
Seattle Terminal plan
Bainbridge Terminal plan
Port Townsend and Keystone planning
Eagle Harbor Maintenance facility
Vessel maintenance

Airport, transit and rail
Airport aid for general aviation
Public Transportation
Rail projects

What's new, what's next?

As structures are replaced or maintained WSDOT uses the latest proven technology to improve safety and quality of life for the community.

New technology
Quieter pavement
Research on wildlife fences

Research studies:
Studded tire damage
Review of maintenance outsourcing