SR 501 - I-5 to Port of Vancouver - Intersection and Profile Improvements

Project news

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Needs & benefits

Why is WSDOT making corridor improvements on Mill Plain Boulevard (SR 501) between the Port of Vancouver and Fort Vancouver Way west of I-5?

Currently, oversized freight traffic must divert from this section of Mill Plain Boulevard (SR 501) onto city streets due to high points in the roadway and limited overhead clearances. Corridor modifications will increase safety along the corridor for all modes of transportation. Improvements will include reconstruction of two intersections (Washington/Mill Plain and Main Street/Mill Plain) and the replacement of three signal systems on Mill Plain (Columbia, Broadway and Main Street).

Pedestrian and bicycle features will also be added including upgraded pedestrian ramps to current ADA standards, buffered bike lanes, wider sidewalks to accommodate a shared use path and new crossing signals.

Highlights 
Within downtown Vancouver, improvements will include:

  • Upgraded pedestrian crossing signals, which provide visual and audio cues notifying people when it is safe to cross. These include directional flashing arrows and countdown timers so people know how much time they have to cross the road safely. 
  • New curb ramps that meet current ADA standards. Curb ramps help people of all abilities safely transition from a roadway to a curbed sidewalk and vice versa.
  • Upgraded traffic lights on East Mill Plain Boulevard at Columbia Street, Main Street, and Broadway Street that will allow for better clearance by freight traffic.
  • A new pedestrian-activated rectangular rapid-flashing beacon at the southbound I-5 off ramp to East Mill Plain Boulevard.
  • Parking-protected bike lanes. To provide improved protection for people riding bikes from people driving cars, bike lanes will move to the curb-side of the parking lanes. Bike lanes will also widen from 4 feet to 5½ feet with a 2-foot buffer. Additionally, to raise drivers' awareness to cyclists along the roadway, bike lanes will be painted green at intersections, as a continuous reminder to drivers of the possibility of the presence of bicyclists as they merge or change lanes.

What should people expect?

The project includes two construction projects and timelines.

  • Intersection improvements are scheduled to begin Monday, May 3.
  • Paving work is scheduled to begin on Monday, July 26. 
  • Construction work will require two separate weekend closures; one at East Mill Plain Boulevard and Washington Street and the other at East Mill Plain Boulevard and Main Street, currently scheduled to occur sometime in June. We are coordinating this construction work in close coordination with the City of Vancouver which also has construction happening downtown. 

Public Involvement 

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, approximately 150 joined WSDOT, the city of Vancouver, C-TRAN and the Port of Vancouver at an open house to learn about this project.

Project Benefits

  • Freight mobility: Corridor modifications will help keep traffic and freight moving through this vital stretch of roadway and decrease freight traffic on local streets.
  • Safety: The project will address mobility and safety for all users: people driving, people walking or using assistive devices, and/or people using bicycles.
  • Economic: Although some parking losses are anticipated (approximately 15 spaces or two to three per block), the overall improvements will help meet the needs of future development in the area.
  • Environmental: Approximately 30 trees causing damage to the roadway and sidewalks will be removed during construction and replaced by the City of Vancouver. Tree removal is necessary to implement the required safety and freight mobility improvements. Tree removal will be done in accordance with all applicable City urban forestry regulations.

The End Result
Corridor modifications will help keep traffic and freight moving through this vital stretch of roadway.

Timeline

  • Spring 2019 - Spring 2021: Design and public outreach
  • March 2021: Project scheduled to go out for competitive bidding
  • March 29, 2021: The construction contract for this project was awarded to McDonald Excavating, Inc.
  • May 2021: The paving portion of this project was awarded to Granite Construction Company
  • May 2021: Construction scheduled to begin
  • End of 2021:  Project scheduled for completion 

 

Funding

Financial Data for PIN 450119A
Funding Source Amount ($ in thousands)
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) $0
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) $0
Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) $0
CWA $6,403
Total $6,403

Contact

Susan Fell
WSDOT Clark County Area Engineering Office
360-905-1500

Tamara Greenwell
WSDOT Communications
360-905-2056

SR_501-I-5 Port of Vancouver