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Adopted Capital Improvement Program 2017-18

Adopted Capital Improvement Program 2017-18
Adopted Capital Improvement Program 2017-18

Program Overview

The Road Services Division adopted six year Capital Improvement Program for 2017-2022 is programmed using the Strategic Plan for Road Services that guides and directs priorities for road investments. The capital program reflects an on-going, evolving response to significant structural funding challenges that are affecting the county’s ability to preserve and maintain the roadways in the unincorporated areas.

The program was developed under the direction of the County Road Engineer using four primary prioritization processes, the Bridge Needs Report, the Transportation Needs Report, the guardrail priority array and the 2016 High Collision Locations and High Collision Road Segments reports. All projects were reviewed for consistency with the King County Equity and Social Justice Plan and the King County Strategic Climate Action Plan.

The total six year program is approximately $169.7 million. For 2017-2018, the total is around $91.0 million of new appropriation with $21.6 million in the County Road Construction Fund and $69.4 million in the County Road Major Maintenance Fund. The program is primarily financed by the contribution from the County Road Fund, other agency contributions and various state and federal transportation grants.

To enhance the transparency of fund management and facilitate compliance with reporting requirements, the program was restructured with the use of two new funds, the County Road Construction Fund and the County Road Major Maintenance Fund. These funds will better define which projects are new construction and which are considered maintenance activities.

Key Capital Investments

The key capital investments in the 2017-2018 biennial budget include:

Roadway Preservation - $34.8 Million
To preserve the roadway infrastructure using cost effective resurfacing treatments and minor roadway rehabilitation to extend the useful life of existing roadways. $2 million is planned for spot treatment of high-risk areas in an attempt to prolong the useful life of the road and improve safety for the traveling public.

Drainage Preservation - $8.2 Million
There is a backlog of drainage projects and new failures are routinely identified. These repairs will address previously identified projects as well as emergent issues, but available funds are insufficient to address more than a limited number of the top priority projects in the backlog. Work to be accomplished in this program may include new infrastructure, repairs of failing systems, ditches, shoulders or other drainage features.

Quick Response - $2 Million
The Quick Response master project will supply funds for sub-projects that arise during the year that require immediate attention. Projects can include emergency repairs associated with storm damage or other infrastructure deterioration or damage, unanticipated pedestrian or vehicle safety needs or other emerging issues.

Guardrail Preservation - $4.8 Million
This program will refurbish and upgrade existing guardrail to current standards. The program will improve the safety of the roadways by upgrading existing guardrail and guardrail end terminals.

High Collision Safety - $4 Million
This program will improve the safety of the roadways by making improvements which are intended to reduce the occurrence of collisions at locations or on road segments identified in the 2016 High Collision Locations and High Collision Road Segments reports.

Guardrail Construction - $1.4 Million
This program will design and construct new guardrail systems to improve the safety of the roadways. Barriers will be installed in locations in an attempt to reduce the number and severity of “run off the road” collisions.

Bridge Priority Maintenance - $1 Million
This program performs high priority preservation and maintenance projects to address safety issues related to bridge deterioration, and in addition, provides for some rehabilitation and maintenance in order to extend the useful life of bridges.

Clear Zone Safety - $1 Million
The program identifies and removes or mitigates objects next to roadways that vehicles leaving the roadway might otherwise hit, creating clear zones. These zones create space for a driver to stop safely or regain control of a vehicle that has left the road, increasing the possibility of a safe recovery and reducing the instances and severity of crashes.

School Zone Safety - $800,000
King County has a decades-long program that collaborates with school districts and local communities to improve safety in the vicinity of schools within unincorporated portions of the county. Successful school safety improvements are designed and implemented to reflect the unique characteristics and site specific conditions of each school and related traffic patterns.

Project Selection

In prioritizing capital investments, the division is guided by the priority framework in the Strategic Plan for Road Services. The strategic plan places a greater emphasis and a higher priority on projects providing immediate operational safety, regulatory compliance, and those that preserve the road system infrastructure. The capital program directly supports the following goals and objectives:

  • Goal 1: Prevent and respond to immediate operational life safety and property damage hazards.

  • Goal 2: Meet regulatory requirements and standards in cooperation with regulatory agencies.

  • Goal 3: Preserve the existing roadway facilities network.

  • Goal 4: Enhance mobility (movement of people and goods) by facilitating more efficient use of the existing road system.

  • Goal 5: Address roadway capacity when necessary to support growth targets in the urban area.

  • The Bridge Report and the Transportation Needs Report also provide input to the capital program.

The Bridge Report is developed to meet state and federal requirements, and details the results of the division’s bridge inspections and analysis regarding the condition of the county’s bridges. The report includes the prioritized list of county bridges in need of replacement or rehabilitation, and, as required by state law, is updated annually and provided to the King County Council for consideration during budget deliberations.

The Transportation Needs Report is a component of the King County Comprehensive Plan and is updated and submitted as part of each comprehensive planning process. The report describes how transportation system needs are determined and lists those needs by road corridor, strategic plan priority and project type. Multiple priority arrays are considered in developing the report, including high collision locations and road segments, guardrail, intersection conditions, road reconstruction and resurfacing and pedestrian and bicycle needs. The projects within the capital program are consistent with the report, and as discussed above, reflect the strategic plan priorities of first funding safety, regulatory compliance like clean water requirements and preservation activities.

Policy Considerations

General Policy Analysis
The county is losing significant ground in its battle to preserve an aged infrastructure and to modernize and provide efficient functioning of its heavily used road system. The division’s capital program is no longer able to prevent a growing backlog of infrastructure needs nor address all of the highest preservation needs. With reduced revenues, maintenance, repairs and replacement are deferred and the backlog grows. This deferral will lead to an exponential increase in the cost to sustain these roads in the future. According to American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, every $1 spent to keep a road in good condition avoids $6-$14 needed later to rebuild the same road once it has deteriorated prematurely.

Equity and Social Justice
The county’s equity and social justice area map and principles were considered in the development of this capital plan.

Strategic Climate Action Plan
Staff reviewed all capital project proposals and they align with the Strategic Climate Action Plan. Key projects will result in energy use reduction, water conservation, improved water quality/flow in the vicinity of drainage projects, coordinated waste reduction and many other sustainable infrastructure and green building outcomes.