U.S. 2 trestle report would be ‘first step’ toward new interchange

The state House proposes spending $1.5 million from a supplemental transportation funding package to complete an interchange justification report for the U.S. 2 trestle where Highway 204 and 20th Street SE feed into it in the westbound direction.

So what exactly is an interchange justification report?

Travis Phelps from the Washington State Department of Transportation fills us in on the bureaucratic details.

An interchange justification report basically looks at what are the issues, some potential solutions, traffic flow — all that sort of stuff that would be affecting the area where a new interchange might go. It helps set the stage for an actual project,” Phelps said.

Once that’s in hand, a project can then go in search of funding and line up needed environmental reviews, among other boxes on the must-do list.

“We have to have something to talk about,” Phelps said. “So it’s the first step in shaping an actual project.”

There’s no guesstimate for a timeline at this point; projects vary in complexity. The trestle may be helped along by some early groundwork that was done earlier this decade with a state-level U.S. 2 working group.

The House proposal also includes money to fill a gap on Highway 522, another project high on the to-do list for east Snohomish County drivers.

Lawmakers in the Senate have their own version, which also includes $1.5 million for the trestle report. It does not include the Highway 522 gap.

The two chambers will seek to reconcile differences before the session ends March 10.

Have a question? Email us at streetsmarts@heraldnet.com. Please include your first and last name and city of residence. Look for updates on the Street Smarts blog.

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