US 12 - Wallula to Nine Mile Hill - Build New Highway

Project news

  • Design for this project will begin in spring 2019. The right of way phase is scheduled to begin in summer 2020 and construction will begin when funding becomes available.

Community engagement 

  • A public open house that focused on project updates for the US 12 corridor was held in Touchet on July 16, 2019. View the open house display boards on Flickr.
  • A public open house for the US 12 corridor was held in Touchet on March 15, 2018. View the open house display boards on Flickr.

Needs & benefits

Since 2003, WSDOT and the US Highway 12 Coalition have made significant progress toward widening US 12 from two to four lanes from the Snake River (near Burbank) to Walla Walla. Phase 8 will complete the approximately 10 miles of new four-lane divided highway that will remain between Boise Inc. and Nine Mile Hill after Phase 7 is finished. 

In 2015, the Washington State Legislature provided funds for the Phase 8 roadway design and right of way acquisition as part of the Connecting Washington transportation funding package.

Completing this new section of US 12 highway will benefit the residents, businesses, and traveling public through improved safety, capacity, and mobility. In addition, the regional transportation system between the Tri-Cities and Walla Walla will better support the agriculture, the wine industry, and other freight traffic critical to Eastern Washington’s economic vitality. 

Project benefits include:

  • Increased safety: The proposed four-lane highway will improve safety by separating opposing traffic with a median. Grade-separated intersections with local roads will allow access to and from the new roadway. Building a four-lane highway will also ease conflicts between slow moving trucks and passenger vehicles.
  • Reduce congestion: A four-lane highway will improve traffic flow and provide improved passing vehicle movements.
  • Freight mobility:  Commercial trucks make up as much as 12% of traffic on US 12 in this area. Increasing capacity will reduce slowdowns and improve travel time for freight, tourism, recreational, and commuter traffic.
  • Economic:  Once complete, the new four-lane highway will connect Walla Walla to the western ports and enhance mobility within the region and state.


  • Spring 2019: Phase 8 will begin design 
  • 2020: Begin right of way phase and continue community engagement with an access hearing and an open house
  • 2021: Begin property appraisals, negotiations, and acquisition


Financial Data for PIN 501203A
Funding Source Amount ($ in thousands)
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) $0
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) $0
Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) $0
CWA $8,879
Total $8,879

This project is partially funded by the 2015 Connecting Washington revenue package. $182.7 million remain unfunded for design and construction.


Bob Hooker, P.E.
WSDOT SCR Design-Build Project Engineer
Design Project Engineer Office

US 12 Phase 8 map