A regional transportation planning process as specified in the Code of Federal Regulations (23 CFR Part 450.314) is required if federal funds are to be used for transportation improvements in an urbanized area. As part of that planning process, a Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) must be developed by the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) serving the urbanized area, which for the Bellingham Urbanized Area is the Whatcom Council of Governments. WCOG developed the Region’s UPWP in consultation with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the Whatcom Transportation Authority and the other member entities represented on the Whatcom Transportation Policy Board.
The UPWP’s focus is derived from the Region’s long-range transportation plan (known as the Whatcom Transportation Plan) as well as the planning emphasis areas specified in federal regulations and in the Revised Code of Washington. In accordance with federal requirements, the Whatcom Transportation Plan is updated every four years.
The UPWP is developed annually and establishes the planning priorities within the Metropolitan Planning Area, which includes the Bellingham Urbanized Area as well as the remainder of Whatcom County. It describes all transportation planning activities anticipated within a given program year and indicates which of those activities will receive federal funding. Its acceptance each year by WSDOT and the Federal Highway Administration ensures that federal funding will be available to WCOG to assist in carrying out its various planning activities.
For more information on the Unified Planning Work Program, please contact Hugh Conroy, Director of Planning, at email@example.com or by calling (360) 685-8384.