Local Information

Improvements coming to Mill Plain Boulevard/15th Street in downtown Vancouver

Thursday, April 29, 2021 - 10:52

Tamara Greenwell, communications, 360-905-2056

Construction begins May 3

VANCOUVER – Travel reliability and safety improvements are coming for travelers who walk, bike, roll or drive along East Mill Plain Boulevard (State Route 501) and East 15th Street in downtown Vancouver. Work starts Monday, May 3, and travelers should plan on extra time to reach their destinations.

Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will pave East Mill Plain Boulevard and East 15th Street between Fort Vancouver Way near Interstate 5 and West 26th Avenue near the Port of Vancouver. Crews also will replace traffic light systems at the intersections of East Mill Plain Boulevard at Columbia Street, at Broadway Street and at Main Street.

To improve pedestrian and bicycle safety at street crossings, crews will install accessible pedestrian signals, which provide visual and audio cues notifying travelers when it is safe to cross. These will be installed at all intersections between I-5 and the Port of Vancouver. In addition, the project includes new curb ramps that meet current ADA standards, buffered bike lanes, and a new pedestrian-activated rectangular rapid-flashing beacon at the southbound I-5 off ramp to East Mill Plain Boulevard.

To help to improve freight mobility and safety for all users, crews will reconstruct the intersections of East Mill Plain Boulevard at both Washington and Main streets. Currently, trucks hauling oversized loads from the Port of Vancouver often use city streets to navigate around sections of East Mill Plain Boulevard due to low-hanging traffic lights and high points in the roadway, which often result in long loads bottoming out.

What to expect during construction?

  • Intersection improvements are scheduled to begin May 3 and will occur during daytime and nighttime hours.
    • Construction work will require a full weekend closure of the Washington Street and Main Street intersections with Mill Plain Boulevard scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. Friday July 9 and reopen no later than 4 a.m. Monday July 12. 
    • During curb ramp construction starting May 3 pedestrians will be directed to alternate routes.   
  • Paving work is scheduled to begin on Monday, July 26, and will include restriping to improve bicycle facilities by providing parking-buffered bike lanes. To help reduce travel delays, much of this work is scheduled at night.

Travelers are encouraged to plan ahead for possible delays by signing up to receive email updates or text alerts and downloading the WSDOT mobile app.

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