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Monday, May 14, 2012
Leon Winger, WSDOT project engineer, 360-905-1500 (Vancouver)
Heidi Sause, WSDOT communications, 360-905-2057 (Vancouver)
VANCOUVER – Relief is only a day away for Salmon Creek drivers who use the northbound Interstate 205 off-ramp to Northeast 134th Street. At 6 a.m. on May 15, crews with the Washington State Department of Transportation will open a new lane to help alleviate congestion on the busy ramp.
Nearly 11,500 drivers use the exit on a daily basis. During the peak rush hour, the ramp fills with exiting vehicles and traffic backs up onto the interstate.
The wider ramp will help prevent those backups and the resulting slowdowns that can lead to rear-end collisions. The new lane will also shorten the time drivers wait at the exit ramp, and improve access to Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital and Washington State University’s Vancouver campus.
This area has been under construction since 2010, when WSDOT and Clark County Public Works broke ground on a multi-phase partnership project to overhaul the Salmon Creek Interchange.
“We’re approaching a point in the project where the last year of drivers’ patience pays off – this is some of the congestion relief we’ve all been looking forward to,” said Project Engineer Leon Winger. “During the next two years, drivers will continue to see improvements that will give them more space and quicker connections between the interstates and local roads.”
One of the improvements that drivers can look forward to is a wider interstate. This summer, WSDOT will open new lanes on I-5, widening the interstate from four to six lanes between Northeast 134th and Northeast 179th streets.
The $130 million Salmon Creek Interchange project is located at the junction of I-5 and I-205 in southwest Clark County. WSDOT and Clark County Public Works are partnering to address traffic congestion in this growing area by widening I-5, improving local roads and building a new interchange at Northeast 139th Street.
The fourth and final stage of the project will build a new interchange at Northeast 139th Street to provide a second east-west route across the interstates and alleviate gridlock on the heavily traveled Northeast 134th Street. This final part of the project is being advertised to contractors, and construction is expected to begin this summer. The entire project is scheduled for completion in 2014.
Drivers can sign up online to received email updates and follow the project through construction. Stay up to date on construction-related traffic impacts by visiting WSDOT’s Travel Alerts and Southwest Region Construction Update web pages.
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