We have updated our privacy policy. To learn more about how we use and protect your information, view our privacy policy below.

WSDOT Control Zone Mitigation Program

Puget Sound Energy reliability project


Current projects

  • SR 544: Phase three construction began in January 2021 and will be completed by May 2021. Please see the Phase three construction notification under “Featured Content” for more information.
  • SR 9: Easement acquisition is almost complete and construction is anticipated to start in 2021. Please see the latest project update under “Featured Content.”
  • SR 547: Project design and easement acquisition is underway for work along SR 547 in Whatcom County.
  • PSE continues to work with WSDOT to determine the most feasible ways to improve safety and decrease the possibility of cars coming into contact with power poles.

Completed Projects

  • SR 534: Construction was completed in July of 2018. Crews relocated 71 poles along State Route (SR) 534 in Skagit County.
  • SR 544: In 2018, phase one of construction was completed along Highway 544, heading east from Highway 539 to Hannegan Road in Whatcom Country. 64 poles were relocated.
  • In 2016 and 2017, PSE completed dozens of pole relocations on SR 542 in Whatcom County, SR 20 in Island County and SR 507 in Thurston County.

Program overview

This program is part of the Washington State Strategic Highway Safety Plan, better known as Target Zero, which aims to have zero deaths and serious injuries on Washington’s roadways by 2030. To learn more about Target Zero, please visit https://targetzero.com/.

PSE is working to improve public safety as well as protect the integrity of its electrical infrastructure by relocating power poles farther off of state roadways. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has established the highway “control zone” (which is determined by the speed limit, traffic volume and contour of the shoulder) to enhance traffic safety. Per this WSDOT standard, the control zone should be free of obstructions to decrease the likelihood of cars coming into contact with objects adjacent to the roadway. PSE’s pole-relocation initiative is intended to bring poles into compliance with WSDOT’s control zone standard, and further decrease the possibility of cars coming into contact with power poles.

PSE estimates as part of this public-safety initiative, the utility will relocate between 5,000 and 7,000 of its 14,000 poles currently located along state highways. Under a 2012 agreement between PSE and WSDOT, PSE has set a target of 10 years to relocate all of its power poles outside the control zone, or find an alternate mitigation approach approved by WSDOT.

Stretches of highway that have experienced the most accidents involving power poles are expected to have first priority for relocation. We will provide more details on scope, timing and prioritization planning as soon as we have them. Visit the Washington State Department of Transportation website for more information about WSDOT’s control zone requirements.

Contact us

We welcome your questions and comments. Please contact the Major Projects hotline: