Part of Salmon Creek work nears end

Interchange linking N.E. Tenney Road, 139th St. nearly done

By Ray Legendre, Columbian staff writer

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Construction crews are nearing completion on a portion of the Salmon Creek interchange project linking Northeast Tenney Road and Northeast 139th Street, county officials said Monday.

Work on the intersection should be finished sometime next week, said Jeff Mize, spokesman for Clark County Public Works. A traffic signal at the intersection should also be activated, he added.

Clark County Public Works and the Washington State Department of Transportation have teamed up on the $133 million Salmon Creek interchange project, which will provide a new east-west corridor to ease traffic congestion in Salmon Creek and is expected to increase the area’s commercial viability. The project’s cost includes its construction, design, and rights of way.

In addition to the county’s road work, WSDOT is handling major portions of the Salmon Creek interchange project extending east of Interstate 5 to Northeast 20th Avenue. The state is expected to complete its portion of the interchange in 2014, according to WSDOT.

“There’s quite a bit of potential for economic development,” Mize said. “But it’s always been hampered by inadequate infrastructure. This project will change that.”

Clark County is handling construction near the intersection of Northeast Tenney Road and Northeast 139th Street, a fraction of the project’s improvements. That construction began two months ago and is nearly complete, Mize said. Some landscaping and other minor items will continue into 2012.

A traffic signal with video cameras and radar detection is being added to handle two-way traffic on Northeast 139th Street that has not existed because the road was closed to motorists on its east side, Mize said.

Steps for stormwater

To the west of the library near Northeast Tenney Road and Northeast 139th Street, a stormwater pond is being used to catch storm runoff from the nearby Fred Meyer store. The new pond replaces one removed during construction, and is still being built, Mize said.

Once construction is completed, the pond’s deed will be given to Fred Meyer, Mize said.

Stormwater runoff from the project’s other roads will be carried to a separate stormwater facility on the north side of 134th Street and east of I-5. Most of the facility’s construction will take place by the end of this year, in hopes of beginning operations in the spring, WSDOT officials said.

The location was used as a Park & Ride until September. The new Park & Ride location west of Northeast 10th Avenue and south of Northeast 139th Street has pervious concrete, meaning water soaks through the surface and into the soil. This negates the need for a large stormwater facility to collect and treat the water, Mize said.

Commuters started using the new Park & Ride Sept. 26.

Northeast Tenney Road and Northeast 10th Avenue — another area of road work associated with the interchange project — has opened to two-lane traffic and has a new signal operating, Mize said.

You can learn more about the Salmon Creek interchange project at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I5/ne134thi205.

Ray Legendre: 360-735-4517; www.facebook.com/raylegend; www.twitter.com/col_smallcities; ray.legendre@columbian.com.