|Volume 14, Issue 10||
Board adopts MSTIP 3e plan, including money for Saltzman
The Major Streets Transportation Improvement Program Phase 3e (MSTIP 3e) Funding Program was adopted by the Washington County Board of Commissioners (BCC) at their meeting on Oct. 4.
In the May issue, we mentioned that improving Saltzman Road between Bayonne and Laidlaw was on the “150%” list. We’re happy to find out that it made the cut, having been approved by the Washington County Coordinating Council (WCCC) a group made up of area mayors and county representatives.
Now the big question will be whether the money will be used to improve the existing alignment (Option 1 on the map) or to build a new alignment (Option 3) that can connect to 130th and from there, eventually as far as Springville Road and beyond.
Members of the Bethany Neighborhood Coalition earlier this year proposed a novel pre-fabricated bridge design that could trim the cost of the new alignment. A bridge would be needed to take the road from the top of the ridge, across Bronson Creek, and to a point where it can connect to 130th. From there, it would be possible to improve a much-needed northerly route that could provide a connection to Highway 30.
County staff may push for the existing route, because of cost and complexity of the new project. However, using this pre-fab bridge design could also be a good solution for other tricky county projects.
Those who travel this “thrill ride” of a road have doubts that “wider travel lanes, bike lanes and sidewalks” as proposed for the cheaper alternative would be a good long-term solution for the area.
The full cost of the bridge solution is estimated to be between $5.9 and $8.1 million. For “improving” the existing alignment, the project estimate is $6.5 million. The remaining $1.2 million not funded by MSTIP3e would come from assessments on new Bonny Slope West development.
We’ll keep you updated on this and let you know when citizen input can make a difference. It will be some time before any “concrete” proposals are forthcoming. In the meantime, fasten your seatbelts if you use upper Saltzman.
MSTIP has been funded by local property taxes since 1986. The BCC allocates MSTIP funding on a five-year cycle. The MSTIP 3e funding cycle will run from Fiscal Year 2018-19 through Fiscal Year 2022-23. The MSTIP 3e program will allocate $175 million ($35 million per year), for projects including:
$160 million for 23 road projects (about $40 million per Commissioner district) that will improve travel for bicyclists, pedestrians, motorists and transit passengers
$7.5 million for the "Opportunity Fund" to leverage other local, state and federal transportation funding
$7 million for rural bridge replacements
$500,000 for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) improvements to maximize the efficiency of existing roads (advanced traffic signals, driver information signs, lane-use management, etc.)
To learn more about transportation funding in Washington County, visit transportationfunding.org.
Cedar Mill News
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