New turn lane opens at SR 503 and Fourth Plain

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Vancouver — Construction crews this week finished a new dedicated right-turn lane from southbound state Highway 503 to westbound Fourth Plain Road. The change came months ahead of schedule as the Washington State Department of Transportation revamps the intersection.

Good weather and “resourceful planning” allowed crews to open the new turn lane Thursday, according to WSDOT. The change was initially scheduled for late 2011 or early 2012.

The change is intended to alleviate congestion and improve safety near the intersection. State Highway 503 just north of Fourth Plain sees an average of 50 collisions per year, according to WSDOT.

Workers also installed median curbs along the highway between Fourth Plain and Northeast 65th Street to prevent crashes caused by drivers turning across multiple lanes of traffic.

Painting and street light installation near the intersection will continue to cause lane closures this fall, according to WSDOT. The entire $763,000 project, funded by gas tax revenues, is expected to be finished by the end of this year.