SR 500 - 42nd and 54th Intersections - Safety Improvements - Complete November 2018

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Needs & benefits

Project overview

Nearly 400 crashes occurred at the intersections of SR 500 and Northeast Falk Road/Northeast 42nd Avenue and 54th Avenue/Northeast Stapleton Road over five years. These intersections were the last two remaining traffic lights on SR 500 between I-5 and I-205. In response,  WSDOT conducted a study in spring and summer 2018 to identify cost-effective safety improvements along SR 500 between St. Johns Road and Andresen Road in Vancouver.

With input from the community, agency partners, area schools, businesses and emergency services, WSDOT selected the Right In, Right Out concept to improve safety along SR 500 in Vancouver and Clark County. Emergency service providers and the public were most supportive of this concept, because it balances significant safety improvements to SR 500, while maintaining some connectivity to the highway from local streets.

WSDOT secured funding to begin initial implementation of safety improvements on State Route 500 in Vancouver. In fall 2018, crews removed the traffic signals and installed median barrier at Northeast Falk Road/Northeast 42nd Avenue and Northeast Stapleton Road/Northeast 54th Avenue. Travelers can continue to access these intersections by turning right onto or off of SR 500, but can no longer turn left or cross the highway at these intersections.

People who use the sidewalks or bicycle lanes in the area will be unable to cross SR 500 at Northeast Stapleton Road/Northeast 54th Avenue until a new grade-separated crossing is constructed, but can continue to use the overcrossing at Northeast Falk Road/Northeast 42nd Avenue. 

WSDOT plans to complete future improvements as time and funding allow. These activities include designing and constructing a new grade-separated pedestrian/bicycle crossing at Northeast Stapleton Road/Northeast 54th Avenue and addressing secondary effects that may be associated with immediate improvements, which could include investment in city or county transportation facilities. Funding is identified in our 10-year plan, starting in the 2021-2023 biennium, but WSDOT is working with our partners to find opportunities to expedite that funding if possible.

Next steps

WSDOT, in partnership with other local agencies, will monitor the impacts of these changes to other roads in the surrounding area to identify any necessary secondary investments, and design and construct a new grade-separated crossing for non-motorized travelers at Northeast Stapleton Road/Northeast 54th Avenue. WSDOT is working with partners to find opportunities to expedite funding for this work.

Project benefits

  • Safety: Predicted to reduce crashes by up to 70% by reducing the risk of rear-end and left-turn related crashes at or near the traffic lights.
  • Improved travel times: Expected to reduce travel delays for drivers on SR 500.

Timeline

  • Spring/Summer 2018 – Solicited community and stakeholder input
  • Summer 2018 - Preferred project to improve safety at these locations chosen and funding to implement initial safety improvements secured
  • August 2018 – Project advertised for competitive bid
  • September 4, 2018 - Project awarded to Cascade Bridge, LLC 
  • November 2018 – Construction of highway safety improvements completed 

Funding

  • Less than $1 million.

Project Pin# 450018M

Contact

Please email or call the study team at 360-905-2076 with questions or comments about these safety improvements.