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Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Chris Tams, WSDOT project engineer, 360-759-1310 (Vancouver)
Leon Winger, WSDOT project engineer, 360-905-1500 (Vancouver)
Heidi Sause, WSDOT communications, 360-905-2057 (Vancouver)
Drivers can expect minor delays starting Jan. 4
VANCOUVER – Clark County drivers can expect to see large cranes, high-flying girders and minor delays as crews move forward with traffic improvements on two different state highways this week. Starting Wednesday, Jan. 4, crews will begin installing bridge girders on State Route 14 at the East Camas Slough Bridge in Camas, and on Friday, Jan. 6, crews will start installing girders along State Route 500 at St. Johns Boulevard in Vancouver.
SR 14 at the East Camas Slough Bridge in Camas
On Wednesday, Jan. 4, crews working to widen SR 14 through Camas and Washougal will begin installing 12 girders on a new bridge structure just north of the SR 14 East Camas Slough Bridge. The new bridge runs parallel to the existing highway and will eventually carry westbound traffic, widening this stretch of SR 14 from two to four lanes.
Flaggers will direct a single lane of traffic over the East Camas Slough Bridge while crews begin setting girders on the parallel structure on Wednesday, Jan. 4, and Thursday, Jan. 5. Driver can expect delays of up to 20 minutes between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Work will continue into the weekend as crews take advantage of daylight hours to place the final girders beneath high-voltage overhead power lines. Drivers can expect intermittent lane closures and delays of up to 20 minutes between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8.
This work is part of a project to widen SR 14 to four lanes between the end of the West Camas Slough Bridge and just east of Union Street, build a split-diamond interchange at Union and Second streets and install median barrier throughout the project area. The project will help eliminate crossover collisions and improve traffic flow for 38,000 daily drivers on this stretch of highway.
SR 500 at St. Johns Boulevard in Vancouver
Starting Friday, Jan. 6 and continuing for the next two weeks, crews working to build a new interchange at SR 500 and St. Johns Boulevard will use two large cranes to install a total of four massive steel girders on both the north and south sides of the highway. The girders will form the backbone of two new interchange ramps that will eventually connect the east side of SR 500 to St. Johns Boulevard.
Girder installation work will take place off the roadway and will not directly affect drivers. However, at 10 feet tall and nearly 250 feet long, the girders will be highly visible from the roadway.
“There’s going to be a lot of activity taking place on either side of SR 500,” said Project Engineer Leon Winger with the Washington State Department of Transportation. “Don’t let the work distract you – it’s extremely important that drivers stay focused on the road and pay attention to what’s taking place in the flow of traffic.”
This project will replace the current signalized intersection at SR 500 and St. Johns Boulevard in Vancouver with a freeway-style interchange. The completed interchange will allow traffic to flow freely for 43,000 daily drivers on SR 500, and reduce the wait time for drivers at the St. Johns signal.
Both projects are partially funded through the 2005 gas tax and are being built by Tapani Underground Inc., of Yacolt, Wash. The $50 million SR 14, Camas-Washougal Widening and Interchange project is scheduled for completion in late 2012, and the $48 million SR 500, St. Johns Blvd Interchange project is scheduled for completion in 2013.
WSDOT keeps people, businesses and the economy moving by operating and improving the state's transportation systems. To learn more about what we're doing, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/news for pictures, videos, news and blogs. Real time traffic information is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic or by dialing 511.
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