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Author Topic: US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington  (Read 3099 times)

Amaury

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US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington
« on: March 10, 2023, 01:57:05 PM »

So, when I took my drive to Dayton, Washington, on Tuesday, I drove a section of US Route 12 I've never driven before. This section: https://goo.gl/maps/xKi1E5PvujjzC4mo6 From the Wallula Junction to the exit for Washington State Route 125 in Walla Walla, Washington. I drove it eastbound. I came across a sign stating that a new traffic pattern would be starting on March 23, 2023. The sign is a little before milepost 317; the new road itself is a little after milepost 317. It doesn't seem to be a temporary alignment as I saw a milepost sign on the new road, so it looks like it will be permanent. It wasn't totally clear where the other end came out, but right here is where it starts: https://goo.gl/maps/m67NonrHgiQVmrBe7 It's more completed than that now, of course.

What project is going on here, and what is going to happen with the old alignment? Will it become US Route 12 Alternate, like US Route 97 Alternate in Chelan County?
« Last Edit: March 10, 2023, 02:00:13 PM by Amaury »
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Re: US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2023, 02:49:36 PM »

So, when I took my drive to Dayton, Washington, on Tuesday, I drove a section of US Route 12 I've never driven before. This section: https://goo.gl/maps/xKi1E5PvujjzC4mo6 From the Wallula Junction to the exit for Washington State Route 125 in Walla Walla, Washington. I drove it eastbound. I came across a sign stating that a new traffic pattern would be starting on March 23, 2023. The sign is a little before milepost 317; the new road itself is a little after milepost 317. It doesn't seem to be a temporary alignment as I saw a milepost sign on the new road, so it looks like it will be permanent. It wasn't totally clear where the other end came out, but right here is where it starts: https://goo.gl/maps/m67NonrHgiQVmrBe7 It's more completed than that now, of course.

What project is going on here, and what is going to happen with the old alignment? Will it become US Route 12 Alternate, like US Route 97 Alternate in Chelan County?

It comes out at MM 328 where the existing 4-lane ends WB - https://goo.gl/maps/wHxbWxEEerhFqcd79

project: https://wsdot.wa.gov/construction-planning/search-projects/us-12-nine-mile-hill-frenchtown-vic-build-new-highway

it appears the new alignment will be a full freeway.  The previous project east through Walla Walla did not result in US 12 ALT, etc. so i would be surprised if this one does when completed.
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Amaury

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Re: US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2023, 03:20:47 PM »

Since it likely won't become an alternate alignment, I would guess the old alignment just becomes a county road known perhaps as Old Highway 12, like Old Highway 97 in Okanogan County.
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Re: US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2023, 10:02:12 PM »

Glad this is getting done, I last drove that stretch when I was working in Richland a few years ago, and hoo boy did that need upgrades.
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pderocco

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Re: US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2023, 11:26:03 PM »

So, when I took my drive to Dayton, Washington, on Tuesday, I drove a section of US Route 12 I've never driven before. This section: https://goo.gl/maps/xKi1E5PvujjzC4mo6 From the Wallula Junction to the exit for Washington State Route 125 in Walla Walla, Washington. I drove it eastbound. I came across a sign stating that a new traffic pattern would be starting on March 23, 2023. The sign is a little before milepost 317; the new road itself is a little after milepost 317. It doesn't seem to be a temporary alignment as I saw a milepost sign on the new road, so it looks like it will be permanent. It wasn't totally clear where the other end came out, but right here is where it starts: https://goo.gl/maps/m67NonrHgiQVmrBe7 It's more completed than that now, of course.

What project is going on here, and what is going to happen with the old alignment? Will it become US Route 12 Alternate, like US Route 97 Alternate in Chelan County?

Bing maps has more recent aerial imagery: https://www.bing.com/maps?osid=5df753b7-06c6-43e8-9b71-d7989245ae2c&cp=46.053796~-118.611049&lvl=13.058384&style=a&pi=0&v=2&sV=2&form=S00027
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Re: US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2023, 09:30:38 PM »

It's part of an overall WSDOT plan to four-lane US 12 all the way from Tri-Cities to Walla Walla. 

After that new section opens, all that will remain is the section west of there, from that segment's west end to the Columbia River:

https://wsdot.wa.gov/construction-planning/search-projects/us-12-wallula-nine-mile-hill-build-new-highway
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pderocco

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Re: US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2023, 02:59:30 AM »

It's part of an overall WSDOT plan to four-lane US 12 all the way from Tri-Cities to Walla Walla. 

After that new section opens, all that will remain is the section west of there, from that segment's west end to the Columbia River:

https://wsdot.wa.gov/construction-planning/search-projects/us-12-wallula-nine-mile-hill-build-new-highway

Walla Walla to Wallula has a nicer ring to it than Walla Walla to Attalia. Oh well...
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Re: US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2023, 06:46:33 PM »

Since it likely won't become an alternate alignment, I would guess the old alignment just becomes a county road known perhaps as Old Highway 12, like Old Highway 97 in Okanogan County.

Almost certainly. The last segment of US 12 to be upgraded on a new alignment immediately to the east also resulted in an "Old Hwy 12". https://goo.gl/maps/QZktdaJKQRFpr5Pk8
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Re: US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2023, 07:54:11 PM »

As a bonus, it seems WSDOT is planning on restoring the old alignment of Old US 12 that had to be squared off to meet current US 12 (which will be demolished).

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Re: US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2023, 01:17:48 PM »

The new US 12 bypass (freeway?) west of Walla Walla will likely open this Thursday, June 1. It was supposed to open last Friday but they had a mechanical breakdown.

https://www.union-bulletin.com/news/local/governments/opening-of-us-12-phase-7-delayed-a-week-after-engine-breaks-down/article_2bba2d2a-fc22-11ed-9475-13b68d0e2426.html

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Re: US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2023, 02:59:37 PM »

There are no signs of construction along the US 12 corridor on Google Maps. I guess we'll just have to wait until the Satellite image is updated to see the new four-lane highway.
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Re: US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2023, 05:25:08 PM »

https://sentinelshare.page.link/4zo2

Sentinel satellite imagery is of low resolution compared to Google Earth, but can be as recent as 1 day old. Here's a link to the latest satellite image of that area.

It does show two interchanges and overpasses elsewhere.

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Re: US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2023, 12:24:06 AM »

There are no signs of construction along the US 12 corridor on Google Maps. I guess we'll just have to wait until the Satellite image is updated to see the new four-lane highway.

OSM shows the alignment.
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pderocco

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Re: US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2023, 08:17:32 PM »

It looks like the west end of this new expressway is the third alignment for US-12, with Byrnes Rd being the original one along the railroad tracks.
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Re: US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2023, 05:25:27 PM »

The new expressway (not a freeway, and only an extension of the bypass) between Touchet and Walla Walla will open later today.

https://www.union-bulletin.com/news/local/governments/new-stretch-of-us-12-between-walla-walla-tri-cities-to-open-this-afternoon/article_53791ea8-0167-11ee-9967-c3c6fc73696e.html

It looks like the west end of this new expressway is the third alignment for US-12, with Byrnes Rd being the original one along the railroad tracks.

From the USGS topos, it doesn't seem that Byrnes Road was ever part of US 12. Maybe part of the predecessor IEH, but definitely not US 12.
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Re: US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2023, 08:21:24 AM »

1920 alignment:
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Amaury

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Re: US Route 12 in Walla Walla County, Washington
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2023, 11:21:24 PM »

Google Maps' overhead view has updated with the new alignment: https://goo.gl/maps/v6Yk9e24obKXBYBx7 However, there are no captures of the new roadway itself yet.
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