Road work continues in downtown Vancouver




Expect to see streets ripped up and in various stages of repair if you travel through downtown Vancouver the next few days.

Motorists traveling on Columbia Street between Eighth and 15th streets will encounter paving equipment and detours beginning Thursday, barring wet weather, Vancouver officials said.

Meanwhile, CenturyLink is also performing its own road maintenance on Main Street, changing manholes to make it easier for its employees to access fiber optic networks underground that impact broadband service. The repairs have nothing to do with light rail, said spokesman Martin Flynn; he did not know when the work would be finished.

The Columbia Street restorative efforts are scheduled to take place Thursday and Friday, and are part of Vancouver’s Pavement Management Program, public works spokeswoman Loretta Callahan said. Once those repairs are completed, workers will start work Saturday on St. James Road, for paving between Northeast Cherry Road and Northeast 65th Street.

The Pavement Management Program evaluates 290 miles of paved streets to determine which would benefit the most from repaving and thus preserve the city’s streets, Callahan said.

Construction hours are generally 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, though work can run later if needed. Vancouver hired local contractor Lakeside Industries to handle the repairs.

While the Columbia Street project is paid for with taxpayer dollars, the Main Street work is being paid for by CenturyLink. The Main Street repairs are being done on a public right-of-way, however.

Changing manholes is part of an ongoing upkeep operation to improve access to underground broadband networks near the company’s office on Broadway. The work has raised questions from light-rail opponents about whether the project is about more than replacing manholes.

“We would continue doing this whether there was a bridge or light rail or not,” Flynn said.

Ray Legendre: 360-735-4517;;;