County Transportation Metrics is a project of the Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC) and will provide a roadmap for setting transportation priorities.

Grays Harbor County

Established in 1854, Grays Harbor County is bounded to the west by the Pacific Ocean. The county seat is at Montesano and its largest city is Aberdeen. Originally named Chehalis County, it took its present name in 1915.

The Quinault and several other tribes lived along the area and were decimated by disease from European contact. The area's dense forests of spruce, hemlock, cedar, and Douglas fir attracted loggers and mill operators and at the turn of the twentieth century, communities such as Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Cosmopolis, and Montesano flourished.

Weyerhaeuser planed its first tree farm in the area in 1941 in anticipation of the need to replace old-growth harvests. Mills suffered further declines from the 1960s on, with Asian, then British Columbian competition dealing hard lows to the industry, followed by federal restrictions due to threats to the spotted owl and salmon. Fishing and clamming, once important to the county's economy, also deteriorated. In 2000, employment opportunities came in the form of the Stafford Creek prison, which employs close to 600, and the Quinault Tribe casino and resort. Charter fishing and ocean beaches continue to bring in tourists.

Population (OFM Databook, 2011) 

Population (2011) 72,900
Population Change (2000 to 2010)      -0.3%
Land Area (Sq. Mi.) 1,902.03
Density (Population/Sq. Mi.) 38.33


Aberdeen                                                         16,870
Cosmopolis 1,645
Elma 3,115
Hoquiam 8,650
McCleary 1,655
Ocean Shores

Major Highways

  • US Route 12
  • US Route 101
  • State Route 8

County Roads (CRAB and OFM, 2011)

Total Center Lane Miles
Maintenance Expenditures
$ 8,013,635
Preservation Expenditures
$ 3,660,864
Improvement Expenditures
$ 99,915

County Revenues  & Expenditures (OFM Databook, 2011)

Total Revenues
$ 64,207,268
Total Expenditures
$ 60,287,154
Transportation Expenditures
$ 11,111,435


Performance Measures

Links & Sources

Washington State Association of Counties
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