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Program Overview

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

The Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments (CWCOG) is the lead agency for a bi-state MPO, comprised of the urbanized area of Longview and Kelso, Washington and (crossing over the Columbia River) the city of Rainier, Oregon. The urbanized area, originally designated as an MPO in 1982 by federal and state governments, covers an area of over 66,000 people. The Cowlitz area Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) accomplishes much of the groundwork prior to CWCOG consideration.

The CWCOG, as the lead agency for long-range transportation planning, is instrumental in the planning for major transportation network improvements that are implemented by the participating local governments. As a result of this planning over the past 15 years, the urban area has generated over $100 million in actual projects.

The transportation plaI5N-Kelsonning staff works closely with local agencies, ports, and private sector representatives and stakeholders in the development of the long-range transportation planning activities for the urbanized area.

CWCOG staff develops the transportation improvement program (TIP), assists in the allocation of federal Surface Transportation

Program (STP) funds, and updates the Metropolitan Transportation Plan. Funding for these activities primarily comes from state and federal sources with a match provided by local jurisdictions. A biannual Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) is developed to guide the MPO and Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Planning Organization (SWRTPO) work program.



Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Planning Organization (SWRTPO)

CWCOG is the lead agency for the five-county Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Planning Organization comprised of Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Pacific, and Wahkiakum counties. Regional Transportation Planning Organizations were enabled by the legislature in 1992 to allow counties to voluntarily group together and provide regional transportation planning services. RTPO activities are supported by state funds.

CWCOG transportation planning staff works with the local agencies in the five-county area to carry out regional transportation planning activities covering a wide array of transportation-related issues. CWCOG collaborates with the five counties to prioritize transportation needs and assists in securing funds to complete projects that keep the regional transportation network up to date.


The SWRTPO is comprised of one county commissioner from each participating county, representatives from participating cities, port district representatives, administrators from two Washington State Department of Transportation regions, and legislators from districts 18, 19, 20, 24, and 35.  The Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments Metropolitan and Regional Transportation Planning Organization Member Jurisdictions and Agencies can be viewed in the table below.

The board is responsible for developing and adopting the Regional Transportation Plan and a planning work program through which the RTPO addresses transportation issues in a coordinated and cooperative manner. For Lewis and Pacific counties, the board certifies that transportation elements in local comprehensive plans are consistent with the regional plan. The CWCOG contracts directly with the Grays Harbor Council of Governments and the Lewis County Transportation Strategy Council to conduct transportation planning activities in those counties. CWCOG staff is responsible for transportation planning in Cowlitz, Wahkiakum, and Pacific counties.


Jurisdictions Represented in the SWRTPO - FY 2018
Regional Planning Agencies Tribal Governments
Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments (CWCOG) Chinook Nation
Grays Harbor Council of Governments (GHCOG) Confederated Tribes of Chehalis
Lewis County Transportation Strategy Council (LCSTC) Cowlitz Tribe
Pacific Council of Governments (PCOG) Quinault Indian Nation
  Shoalwater Bay Tribe
Counties Transit Authorities
Cowlitz County Columbia County Transit
Grays Harbor County Cowlitz Transit Authority

Lewis County

Grays Harbor Transit Authority
Pacific County Pacific Transit System
Wahkiakum County Twin Transit Authority
Cities/Towns Port Districts
Aberdeen Long Beach Raymond Port of Centralia
Castle Rock Longview South Bend Port of Chehalis
Cathlamet McCleary Toledo Port of Chinook
Centralia Montesano Vader Port of Grays Harbor
Chehalis Morton Westport Port of Ilwaco
Cosmopolis Mossyrock Winlock Port of Kalama
Elma Napavine Woodland Port of Longview
Hoquiam Oakville Port of Peninsula
Ilwaco Ocean Shores Port of Willapa Harbor
Kalama Pe Ell Port of Woodland
Kelso Rainier, OR Wahkiakum Port District No 1
  Wahkiakum Port District No 2
Non-Profit/Non-Traditional Transit Providers

Coastal Counties Community Action Council

LEWIS Mountain Transit
Lower Columbia Community Action Program Wahkiakum County
Federal Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

State Departments of Transportation

Washington State Department of Transportation:

SW Region, Vancouver

Olympic Region, Tumwater

Oregon Department of Transportation:

Region 2


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Cowlitz Area Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

The Cowlitz Area TAC is comprised of engineers and planners representing local jurisdictions, special purpose districts, and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). The TAC provides staff level input to the activities being undertaken and forwards its recommendations for adoption by the CWCOG Board. The TAC provides policy review and guidance to activities and projects that will require action or adoption by the Boards and/or local jurisdictions. The TACs assist CWCOG staff in developing the annual work program, as well as the Regional Transportation Improvement Program.


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Plans & Studies


2045 Regional Transportation Plan:  The 2045 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) is two plans in one; a Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP) for the Longview-Kelso-Rainier Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and a Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) for the five-county SWRTPO.  The 2045 RTP provides a 27-year look into the future and should be used to guide decisions and prioritize investments to meet current and anticipated demands on the regional transportation system.

Below, please find the link to each individual section of the Regional Transportation Plan.



Regional Transportation Improvement Program (RTIP)CWCOG is required by federal and state regulations to develop a Transportation Improvement Program for its Metropolitan and Regional Transportation Planning Organizations which spans a four-year period and is updated at least every two years, or more frequently.  This Regional Transportation Improvement Program (RTIP) includes the transportation projects for both the MPO and the RTPO.  The RTIP is the financial plan that identifies and prioritizes federally funded transportation projects to be carried out in the Longview-Kelso-Rainier MPO and across the SWRTPO region.  The primary purpose of the RTIP is to identify and document federally funded transportation projects that are to be included in the Washington State Department of Transportation's Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) or the Oregon Department of Transportation's STIP

           - 2019-2022 RTIP (current version)

           - 2018-2021 RTIP

           - Interactive map showing projects on the current and historical RTIPs

2019 RTIP Amendment Due Dates - MPO Projects Requiring CWCOG Board Approval


Last Day to Submit
Public Comment Begins
CWCOG Board Meeting
Submit to WSDOT (STIP Amendment)
March 2/6/19 2/11/19 2/28/19 3/15/19
April 3/6/19 3/11/19 3/28/19 4/19/19
May 4/3/19 4/8/19 4/25/19 5/17/19
June 5/1/19 5/6/19 5/23/19 6/21/19
July 6/5/19 6/10/19 6/27/19 7/19/19
August 7/3/19 7/8/19 7/25/19 8/16/19
September 7/31/19 8/5/19 8/22/19 9/20/19
October 9/4/19 9/9/19 9/26/19 10/18/19


2019 RTIP Amendment Due Dates - RTPO Projects & MPO Projects not Requiring CWCOG Board Approval

Last Day to Submit
Submit to WSDOT (STIP Amendment)
January 1/11/19 1/18/19
February 2/8/19 2/15/19
March 3/8/19 3/15/19
April 4/12/19 4/19/19
May 5/10/19 5/17/19
June 6/14/19 6/21/19
July 7/12/19 7/19/19
August 8/9/19 8/16/19
September 9/13/19 9/20/19
October 10/11/19 10/18/19


MPO & RTPO Projects Submitted for 2019 STIP Amendments

January February March April May
June July August September October


2016 Bicycle/Pedestrian Assessment The Bicycle and Pedestrian Assessment accomplishes the following objectives: identifies a regional long-range (20-25 years) proposed bicycle and pedestrian network; generates a list of short-range (1-5 years) top priorities by county; analyzes bicycle and pedestrian crash data; and advances the active transportation goal of the RTP and its policies by developing long-range active transportation strategies for the Southwest Regional Transportation Planning Organization (SWRTPO) five-county region.  The Bicycle and Pedestrian Assessment is referenced in the 2045 RTP.

2018 Annual Listing of Obligated Projects  The purpose of this report is to demonstrate continued coordination between the agencies responsible for implementing projects programmed in the Regional Transportation Improvement Program (RTIP) within the Longview-Kelso-Rainier Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA) and Cowlitz County.  In addition, the report serves as an evaluation tool to track the progress of completing multi-modal transportation projects in the previous calendar year.

FY 2020 Unified Planning Work Program  The annual UPWP outlines the regional transportation planning work tasks CWCOG will complete in the next state fiscal year (July 1st through June 30th) for the Longview-Kelso-Rainier Metropolitan Planning Organization and Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Planning Organization using federal and state funds.  The UPWP must follow guidelines set forth in federal and state regulations.  This program is developed in cooperation with MPO/RTPO member agencies (including RiverCities Transit), WSDOT, ODOT, FHWA, and FTA before adoption by the CWCOG Board of Directors.

FY 2019 Unified Planning Work Program  The annual UPWP is a federally required statement of how state and federal funds will be used for transportation planning purposes by the COG during the next fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). The program is developed by COG transportation planning staff in cooperation with our RTPO/MPO member agencies and the WSDOT Regions (Southwest and Olympic), and is reviewed by the FHWA, FTA, WSDOT and ODOT before being presented to the COG Board for adoption. The document outlines the regional transportation work program and must follow guidelines set forth in state and federal regulations.

FY2018 Unified Planning Work Program Annual Report The UPWP Annual Report summarizes progress made on approved UPWP tasks, programs, and planning activities.  The annual report includes: comparison of actual performance with established goals, budgeted amounts compared to actual expenses, cost overruns or underruns, and approved work program revisions.  This report is a documentation of the requirements listed above.


Public Participation Plan The 2017 update is now agency-wide and can be found on the Administration page of the CWCOG website.


Coordinated Public Transit – Human Services Transportation Plan (CPT-HSTP)

The 2018 CPT-HSTP for the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Planning Organization (SWRTPO) discusses mobility in the region and how it can be improved especially for people with disabilities, low-income, younger and elderly individuals, veterans, and rural residents.  The plan covers existing mobility services; additional needs for services identified by transportation providers, human service providers, and the public; and future strategies for meeting those needs for Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Pacific, and Wahkiakum counties.  The current CPT-HSTP(219 pages, 49.6 MB) was adopted by the SWRTPO Board on December 12, 2018. 

The plan also sets regional priorities for mobility projects applying for WSDOT’s competitive Consolidated Grant Program. The SWRTPO Board Resolution adopting the project rankings for the 2019-2021 biennium and the list of projects are available for download as PDF files.


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Data / Information

Kelso-Longview Great Streets Concept (44 MB)

Industrial Way/Oregon Way Intersection Project

Cowlitz County Regional Trails

Urban Maps

Map of Five-County Area

Six Rivers Trail

The Six Rivers Trail is a potential north-south trail through Cowlitz County starting in the north at the Lewis County line and ending in the south at the Clark County line.  The following maps provide an overview of the entire trail or one of the four segments.  (Overview Map(Segment A -- Lewis County to Castle Rock)  (Segment B -- Castle Rock to Lexington)  (Segment C -- Lexington to Kalama River Road)  (Segment D -- Kalama River Road to Clark County)

For more information on the benefits of trails visit:

Dan Burden of the Blue Zones was recently in the region and made presentations to the CWCOG Board (here) and at the Pathways 2020 event (here). His presentations are now available at the above links.



View Larger Map

For more information on using the interactive maps, click here.

Claude Sakr's presentation on the Oregon Way/Industrial Way Interchange can be found here.

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calendar icon

Cowlitz Area TAC meets 1st Thursday of every month at 3:30 pm at the Cowlitz County Public Works Building.

PCOG TAC meets every other month at 10:30am beginning in February at the Cowlitz County Public Works Building.

Wahkiakum TAC meets every other month beginning in February date, time, and location to be determined.

SWRTPO meets quarterly beginning January date, time, and location to be determined.         


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Local Regional National
RiverCities Transit, RCT Washington State Department of Transportation, WSDOT Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, AMPO
Grays Harbor Council of Governments, GHCOG Southwest Region Washington State Department of Transportation Federal Highways Administration, FHWA
Lewis County Public Works Department Southwest Washington Regional Airport Federal Transit Administration, FTA
Pacific County Economic Development Council, PCEDC Columbia County Public Transit (CC Rider) National Association of Regional Councils, NARC
  Olympic Region Washington State Department of Transportation Transportation Research Board, TRB
  Washington Department of Transportation Aviation  


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Contact Staff

For further information, please contact us at, or call (360) 577-3041.

Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments
Administration Annex
207 4th Avenue North
Kelso, WA 98626

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Directions to our office

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