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DOT starting discussion of bypass off state Route 164

The Washington State Department of Transportation is working with the cities of Enumclaw and Auburn, King County, the Muckleshoot Tribe and the Puget Sound Regional Council on a study to analyze the possibility of adding a bypass between state Route 164 and state Route 18.

As proposed, the bypass would branch off of SR 164 close to Auburn.

The state Legislature directed WSDOT to develop a list of improvement options that addressed the transportation problems on SR 164. WSDOT developed this list of improvements with a group of representatives from along the highway. This list of potential improvements includes adding a bypass between SR 164 and SR 18 in Auburn to address congestion issues at that interchange. In 2006, the Legislature provided $500,000 to further analyze this option.

A rising number of commuters are taking SR 164, a rural route which also serves as a freight connector in southeast King County. Drivers on this highway experience safety issues due to the increasing amount of congestion.

The Bypass Feasibility Study will document how ramp reconfiguration or potential new alignments address congestion and emergency vehicle access. The study will also provide recommendations on whether any of the improvements could be carried forward into a more detailed environmental review process such as an Environmental Impact Statement or an Environmental Assessment, if funding becomes available.

A bypass would aim to alleviate traffic congestion at the SR 18/SR 164 interchange and help minimize the traffic impacts from the White River Amphitheatre.

Because planning studies like these help guide future funding decisions, WSDOT is seeking public comment regarding this study. To participate, the public can use the online comment form or contact Project Manager Jean Mabry at 206-464-1266 to discuss suggestions.

To make comments or view a map of the study area, go to sss.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/SR164/bypass feasibility.

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