Highway 14 safety project will break ground

Local and state officials will turn out for ceremonial event

By Heather Acheson, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 

The 11 a.m. event on Wednesday will be held at the northwest corner of the Port of Camas-Washougal's auxiliary parking area. From Highway 14 heading east, turn right on Second Street and right on Front Street. Then, follow the signs to the event location.

The 11 a.m. event on Wednesday will be held at the northwest corner of the Port of Camas-Washougal’s auxiliary parking area. From Highway 14 heading east, turn right on Second Street and right on Front Street. Then, follow the signs to the event location.

The largest local road improvement project in recent Camas-Washougal history will get underway this week with a ground breaking event.

The state Route 14 safety improvement project, which is expected to take two years to complete, will kick off Wednesday as government officials turn the first shovels of dirt.

The Washington State Department of Transportation project will add new lanes and interchanges, with the goals of making the roadway safer and increasing mobility on the full 16-mile stretch of roadway between Interstate-5 and Washougal River Road.

Speakers at the event will include Camas Mayor Paul Dennis, Camas Mayor Pro-Tem Scott Higgins, Port of Camas-Washougal Executive Director David Ripp and representatives from the offices of U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Camas and Gov. Chris Gregoire,

At the time of the event Dennis will technically no longer be mayor of Camas, as his last day serving in the position is today. Earlier this month, he announced his May 31 resignation to accept a position as director of the Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association.

On April 18, Tapani Underground, Inc., of Battle Ground was awarded the contract at $28.6 million for the project expected to cost a total of $50 million. Funding is being provided through the 2005 gas tax.

Work will officially begin in early June. When complete, Highway 14 from the West Camas Slough Bridge to just east of Union Street will be widened from two to four lanes, and there will be a median barrier from Northwest Sixth Avenue in Camas to Sixth Street in Washougal.

In addition a new bridge — built parallel to the current bridge — will carry westbound traffic at the east end of Lady Island, and two half-interchanges will be constructed at Union and Second streets in Camas.

The project will be built in two stages. First, the frontage roads and roundabouts at Union and Second will be built while traffic continues to use the highway. In stage two, all traffic from the highway will be diverted onto the frontage roads while the highway itself is closed down, extra lanes installed and overpasses constructed.

According to WSDOT, drivers can expect delays, lane closures and temporary detours throughout the construction process.

For construction impact updates, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/regions/southwest/construction.