Local elected officials met last night in Kelso, getting an update on the progress of the SR 432 Rail Realignment and Highway Improvements Project, a plan to upgrade both the train tracks and the roadway from I-5 out to Barlow Point. Council of Governments Executive Director Steve Patterson says that this is a critical project for the area, today and into the future…SR432…Over the next few months, the consultants working on the project will continue to gather input from a variety of sources and stakeholders, and will develop a “suite” of concepts that will move into the second phase. Early next year, those concepts will be refined; in the spring of next year, they plan to present this “suite” of possible improvements for approval. Those involved in the project say work needs to continue in parallel on the rail and the roadway, as the operations of both are so closely intertwined. A public open house is planned for this fall to discuss the project, and a project website will go live early next month. On there, you’ll be able to provide comments, sign up for e-mail updates and can get other information on the project. You can also get more information by contacting the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments.