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The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) found that a high-speed ground transportation system providing one-hour trips between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, would improve mobility and boost economic growth in the region, according to a business case study released earlier this month.
The study, which expands on a preliminary examination of the proposed project, examined an ultra-high-speed system that is projected to exceed 200 mph via high-speed rail, magnetic levitation or hyperloop technology. However, the exact route and type of ultra-high-speed transportation has not been determined and would require more analysis, WSDOT officials said in a press release.
The all-electric system would stand alone, rather than share or rely on existing infrastructure. It would include some elevated tracks and tunnels, with no at-grade crossings with roads, officials said in a press release.
The study estimated the project could be built for $24 billion to $42 billion in up-front construction costs and the system could generate $160 million to $250 million in initial annual revenue.
WSDOT oversaw the study in partnership with the Oregon Department of Transportation, the province of British Columbia and Microsoft, which shared in the costs. Both the business case and preliminary examination studies grew out of planning for the Cascadia Innovation Corridor, a cross-border coalition of business, academic and government leaders interested in the Pacific Northwest becoming a global hub of innovation and commerce.
An advisory committee of public, private and nonprofit sectors provided input during the year-long technical analysis.
Consultant WSP — along with Steer Davies Gleave, EnviroIssues, Paladin Partners and Transportation Solutions — completed the study.