It is declared to be the public policy of the state of Washington to provide for the acquisition of real property and engineering costs necessary for the improvement of the state highway system, in advance of actual construction, for the purposes of eliminating costly delays in construction, reducing hardship to owners of the property, and eliminating economic waste occasioned by the improvement of such property immediately prior to its acquisition for highway uses.
The legislature therefore finds and declares that purchase and condemnation of real property necessary for the state highway system and engineering costs, reasonably in advance of programmed construction, is a public use and purpose and a highway purpose.
The department is hereby authorized to purchase or condemn any real property or property rights therein which it deems will be necessary for the improvement of routes on the state highway system by the method provided in RCW 47.12.180
or alternatively by the method provided in RCW 47.12.242
. Neither method may be used to condemn property or property rights in advance of programmed construction until the department has complied with hearing procedures required for the location or relocation of the type of highway for which the property is to be condemned.