US 2 - SR 204 - 20th Street SE Interchange Justification Report - Summary

In mid-September, WSDOT provided the Legislature with a report detailing existing travel patterns (how and when people travel through the area) and recommendations for improvements at the US 2/SR 204/20th Street Southeast interchange. WSDOT found westbound morning congestion at the interchange extends at least a mile in all directions, resulting in unreliable travel times and frequent collisions. The proposed improvements at the US 2/SR 204/20th Street Southeast interchange are designed to improve travel times for commuters and transit.

Proposed improvements
Although it is unfunded at this time, elements of the preliminary preferred alternative would include: 

  • An additional lane added to westbound US 2 to allow two lanes onto the trestle.
  • Separate SR 204 and 20th Street Southeast on-ramps to eliminate their merge and connect to US 2 as single lanes.
  • A traffic signal at the SR 204/20th Street Southeast intersection to replace the existing 4-way stop.
  • Two-way traffic access over Ebey Slough Bridge from SR 204/20th Street Southeast intersection for vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. 

View the preliminary preferred alternative on the WSDOT Flickr page.

Benefits to travelers
The safety and travel-time benefits from the proposed improvements could include:

  • Reducing back-ups along US 2, SR 204, and 20th Street Southeast by 50 percent.
  • Reducing travel times on 20th Street Southeast and SR 204 by 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Reducing transit and carpool travel times on US 2 by 12 to 18 minutes.
  • Improving transit reliability for Community Transit riders by enhancing local transit connections to the US 2 HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lane.

Public involvement
During the Interchange Justification Report development, WSDOT engaged a support team made up of representatives from regional agencies and nearby cities to review eight different interchange options. After evaluating computer traffic modeling and considering stakeholder interviews and community feedback from an online survey, the IJR Support Team reached consensus on one preliminary preferred alternative design (shown above).

Next steps
WSDOT will begin an environmental evaluation of the interchange and the westbound US 2 trestle. Although construction of a new interchange is still unfunded, the results of the environmental evaluation will inform a long-range plan and identify future phases of this project.