SCOG finalized the Skagit Rail Crossing Study in January 2016. The study analyzes all at-grade railroad crossings within Skagit County and identifies potential mitigation strategies to address the crossings that are the most impacted from future railroad and roadway growth. The Skagit Rail Crossing Study was used to inform Skagit 2040, the regional transportation plan for the Skagit region.
In 2040, it is estimated that railroad traffic on the BNSF mainline will grow by 40 daily rail crossing events at selected crossings. Some crossings within Skagit County are expected to be closed due to railroad traffic for an additional hour and forty-five minutes per day on top of the current daily gate-down times. The growth in railroad traffic will increase roadway congestion and impact emergency services’ ability to respond quickly.
Given these forecasts, it is important for the Skagit region to identify the most effective strategies to mitigate impacts. The study identifies a variety of strategies — from Intelligent Transportation Systems to grade-separated bridges and tunnels — to reduce future railroad and roadway traffic impacts. Many of these strategies are expensive and will take years of careful planning to identify, design and fund the best solutions.