The two largest ports on Puget Sound have recently completed long-term strategic plans. With increasing industrial capacity in Asian factories, West Coast ports have the opportunity for major growth.
The Port of Seattle’s Century Agenda sets out strategic goals for the next 25 years, aiming to grow seaport container volume, triple air cargo volume and add 100,000 port-related jobs.
The Port of Tacoma has adopted a ten year strategic plan to revitalize the port’s purpose and strategy for the next 10 years (2012 – 2022). Their strategic plan responds to economic recession, shifting markets, structural changes in the industry, and competition. It sets 10 targets for the coming 10 years, including doubling container volumes and dry bulk volumes and increasing net income by 50%.
Each year the Transportation Commission visits four or more cities around the state to learn about local transportation needs, challenges, and successes. On April 17 and 18 the Commission visited Mt. Vernon, LaConner and other Skagit County locations. Water defines geography in and around Skagit County.
Pictured here is Mt. Vernon Mayor Jill Boudreau showing off the new Mt. Vernon River Walk, which adds a functioning transportation corridor, enhances livability and provides a tourism attraction, while also serving as a dike to protect downtown from Skagit River floods.
In the other picture, you see the Swinomish Channel in La Conner. This waterway is heavily used by industrial, commercial and recreational boaters and must be dredged regularly. Taking a cue from Mt. Vernon, La Conner also is enhancing its waterway along the Swinomish Channel with a boardwalk.
In June, the Commission will visit East Wenatchee and the surrounding vicinity in Douglas County and Chelan County.
Please tell us about the transportation challenges and successes in your community.
The West Coast Green Highway opens on Wednesday, May 30, 2012. The three-state initiative provides public electric vehicle charging stations in strategic locations to promote the use of cleaner fuels along the 1,350 miles of I-5 from British Columbia to Baja, California in Mexico.
At the Grand Opening on Wednesday, May 30, the charging stations in Blaine, Bellingham and Burlington will not be available for general charging as they will be used for charging demonstrations. The network of stations will be open for all EV drivers on Thursday, May 31.
For more information on the Grand Opening, click http://westcoastelectrichighway.eventbrite.com/
Drivers can sign-up for an AVnetwork Charging keyfob and find the most current listing of charging stations at evsolutions.avinc.com. The website will be updated as new stations come online — so check back regularly.
Construction began this week on the state’s first public charging station that can recharge electric vehicles in 30 minutes.
The Bellingham DC fast charging station is the first sign of a border-to-border network of public electric-vehicle charging stations and the first stop on Washington’s segment of the West Coast Electric Highway along 276 miles of Interstate 5 between the state’s borders with Oregon and Canada.
The Washington State Department of Transportation selected Bellingham to break ground on the state’s segment of the Electric Highway because the city’s commitment to a sustainable future goes hand-in-hand with the WSDOT’s leading role in developing new transportation infrastructure necessary for drivers to make the switch to electricity.
“The transition from gasoline and foreign oil to alternative fuels, such as electricity, for transportation requires a huge first step – infrastructure,” said state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond in recognition of Wednesday’s groundbreaking of the West Coast Electric Highway’s first DC fast charge station at Sehome Village Shopping Center in Bellingham.
The Electric Highway is part of the West Coast Green Highway, a three-state initiative to promote the use of cleaner fuels along the 1,350 miles of I-5 from British Columbia to Baja, Californian in Mexico.
The charging station provides a 30-minute recharge for all-electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi iMiev. It will also include a Level 2 “medium-speed” charging pedestal for other plug-in vehicles, such as the Ford Focus and Chevy Volt.
The Washington State Transportation Commission is conducting a major statewide transportation survey to find out what citizens think about our state’s transportation system and how future needs should be paid for. The findings of the survey will be delivered to the Governor and Legislature in the coming weeks, as officials work to identify ways to fund growing transportation needs across the state. This statewide transportation survey is the first of its kind for Washington State Government.
The survey results will be scientifically valid at both the statewide level and the regional level, as defined by the boundaries of the fourteen Regional and Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organizations across the state. This will give the state data about the unique opinions and preferences in each region thus allowing for targeted transportation investments that best meet the varying needs statewide.
In the first phase of this effort, 100,000 postcards were mailed out to randomly selected residences across the state inviting them to take the survey. Any readers who received a postcard should take the survey as soon as possible.
The second phase of the study is now underway and will ensure that all Washington residents have an opportunity to participate and have their voice heard. To take the survey go to: www.voiceofwashingtonsurvey.org
EMC Research of Seattle is conducting the survey for the Commission. The purpose of the survey is to gather Washington State citizen’s preferences and opinions about the transportation system, their priorities for today and the future, and their thoughts about transportation funding. When referring to the “transportation system” all forms of transportation are included at all levels of government. Respondents to the survey are asked to think about city, county and state roads and bridges, along with sidewalks, bike paths, transit and aviation.
Spokane International Airport has completed a major upgrade that lengthens the runway and improves sightlines for pilots. By extending the main runway to 11,000 feet, Spokane has the opportunity to attract additional air cargo operations. the longer runway also will allow airlines to schedule longer flights from Spokane.
Air travel is an important part of the state’s transportation system, helping to connect Washington with the rest of the nation and the world.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have recognized four transportation projects by county, city and tribal governments in Washington with 2011 Awards of Excellence. The projects are recognized for excellence in safety enhancements, construction, innovative design, environmental sustainability and community involvement.
The photos in this post show the Mason County project, before and after.
Best County Award: Mason County – Tahuya River Bridge #2 on Belfair Road
The Tahuya River replacement bridge, 40 feet wide and 110 feet long, is the primary access to northwest Mason County. It replaced a structure destroyed during 2007 flooding. As primary access to NW Mason County, the loss left a 22-mile detour. Partnerships inlcuded Mason County, FHWA, WSDOT, and private contractors. Total project cost $1.9 million, with more than $1.7 million in federal highway funds.
Best City Award: City of Redmond – NE 36th Street Bridge Project
The NE 36th Street Bridge connects Redmond’s Overlake neighborhood, spanning SR 520 with two adjoining, landscaped lids designed for use by bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers. Since its opening, the bridge has allowed a great many citizens the opportunity to walk, bike, or drive to work and shopping. The new bridge provides much-needed relief to the adjacent SR 520 interchanges, and creates a safer connection. Total project cost: $26 million, with more than $7.1 million of federal highway funds.
Director’s Award: City of Grandview – “Alive Downtown” Revitalization Project
Grandview’s “Alive Downtown” Revitalization updated and added new pedestrian amenities including wider sidewalks, street and pedestrian lighting, and landscaping. The area was improved for motorists by repaving and updating the roadway drainage. Total project cost, $2.4 million, with $2.03 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), as well as other state and local funding.
Best Special Award: Lummi Nation – Haxton Way Pedestrian Pathway Project
The Haxton Way Pedestrian Pathway project is a two-mile, multi-purpose trail system, consisting of a paved pathway, elevated boardwalk, new pedestrian bridges, intersection improvements, and solar lighting for bicyclists and pedestrians. The project included partnerships between the Lummi Tribe, Whatcom County, FHWA and WSDOT. Total project cost: $1.71 million, with funding from the State Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Program and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).