Washington Did Not Meet Requirements for Highway Safety

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The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) publishes transportation data quarterly. This gives information about highway use, train tickets sold, and more. Some of the findings indicate that WSDOT is not making as much progress as it should.
According to Clark County Today, states are required to report their progress on improving infrastructure and addressing safety issues to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA).
Previously, the FHA found that WSDOT didn’t make significant progress toward its 2019 targets for highway safety. Washington has failed to meet goals in several areas.
View of a highway in an urban area with buildings in the background
Washington isn’t seeing as many highway safety improvements as it should.

What are the penalties for lack of progress?

Infrastructure has been a major point of conversation in the United States recently. A lot of focus has been placed on President Joe Biden’s proposed infrastructure plan.
States are expected to show the progress that they’re making with their projects. If they fail to show sufficient progress, they may receive financial penalties from the FHA. Washington has been penalized for a few problem areas.
Penalties have been issued to WSDOT for a lack of progress on repairing highways and bridges in poor conditions. The state will need to provide extra reports to the FHA for failing to meet its goals.

The importance of highway safety

A major factor impacting all areas of transportation has been the COVID-19 pandemic. During the peak of the pandemic, even though people were driving less, dangerous driving behaviors increased.
In the first quarter of this year, 10,968 incidents were reported to WSDOT. This is 16.7% fewer compared to the same period in 2020. But, WSDOT responds to accidents or incidents every 12 minutes on average. This shows the continued need for emphasis on highway safety.

Washington is working on bridge improvement projects

For Washington drivers concerned about aging bridges in their state, Washington has been looking for ways to fund their Interstate Bridge Replacement Program. The state has proposed different ways to fund the projects which include increasing fuel and other transportation taxes.
Transportation spending is already a major part of state budgets, and Washington has made repairing roads a priority. The state hasn’t met its highway safety goals, but some improvements have been made.
Hearing about slow progress for infrastructure projects can be frustrating. When you find yourself on a particularly bumpy stretch of highway or notice more potholes than usual, you may wonder why it’s taking so long to fix. It might help to know that the federal government is also closely watching the progress of state projects.
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