Seven years later and still no highway
This fall marks the seven-year anniversary of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) issuance of its Record of Decision (ROD) for the State Route 167 completion project.
The ROD signals formal federal approval of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning a proposed highway project. It authorizes the respective state transportation agency to proceed with design, land acquisition and construction based on the availability of funds.
This is a notable anniversary. It serves as a reminder that the reason SR 167 is not complete today is not because of challenges with the environmental review process or permitting. Rather, it is because of the lack of funds.
There’s been much discussion in recent years about the need to reform how the state delivers transportation projects. These are worthwhile conversations. However, one cannot pretend that reform alone will build a highway. It also takes revenue.
WSDOT did great work in preparing the EIS. Now it's time to take that work and turn it into an actual highway. It's time for the state to finish what it started and complete SR 167.