I-5 - SB Interstate Br to NE 78th St Vic - Active Traffic Management

Project news

  • See how WSDOT is using smart technology to improve safety and trip reliability on southbound I-5, in Vancouver. 
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Needs & benefits

Due to an increase in congestion on southbound I-5 during weekday, morning commute times (typically between 5:30-9 a.m.) and in an effort to improve safety and trip reliability, beginning in early 2020, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will install an Active Traffic Management (ATM) system, along southbound I-5, between Northeast 78th Street and the Interstate Bridge.

This smart technology upgrade will include a combination of new traffic cameras, sensors that monitor traffic flow and weather, which work in combination to provide information to the WSDOT Traffic Management Center. This information is processed in real-time, keeping drivers better informed, and traffic moving. Electronic message signs over the roadway will provide weather information, changes in speed due to congestion or bridge lifts, and provide notification of lane closures ahead due to a stalled vehicle, crash, police activity or construction.

Adaptive ramp meters are also coming to the southbound I-5 on ramps from 78th Street, Main Street, State Route 500/39th Street, Fourth Plain Boulevard and Mill Plain Boulevard. Along with upgrades to the existing ramp meter at SR 14 and Washington Street in downtown Vancouver. The Ramp meters turn on when the Interstate is really busy, and work together to help improve the flow of traffic onto the Interstate. The meters will move traffic onto the Interstate at a more consistent rate, helping break up groups of vehicles entering the interstate creating a more harmonious flow - reducing traffic bunching up, resulting in more cars getting onto the Interstate in less time. While travelers may wait a little longer at the ramp, they will get better and safer flowing travel on the Interstate.

The answer to reducing congestion is not always as simple as adding more lanes to the highway, which can be costly. An ATM system is a cost-effective strategy that helps alleviate congestion by providing the right information to the drivers at the right time. Advance information of incidents down the road helps prevent sudden changes in traffic conditions. 

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.


  • Summer 2019: Project was awarded to Mill Plain Electric, Inc. on Sept. 9, 2019
  • Early 2020: Construction scheduled to begin
  • Late Summer 2020: Construction scheduled for completion


Financial Data for PIN 400019I
Funding Source Amount ($ in thousands)
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) $0
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) $0
Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) $7,242
CWA $0
Total $7,242


Mike Briggs, Columbia Gorge Engineering Office

Celeste Dimichina, Communications 

I-5 - Southbound Interstate Bridge to NE 99th Street Vic - Active Traffic Management Project location map