(Steven Lane/The Columbian)Buy this photo
Contractors for the Washington State Department of Transportation are transforming the look of the area where Interstates 5 and 205 join, in the Salmon Creek area north of Vancouver. Piers that will carry the new Northeast 139th Street overpass over the traffic lanes are under construction on the west side of Interstate 5, in the foreground of this photo, which looks east. The storm drainage pond beyond the highway on the left edge of the photo is on the site of the old Salmon Creek Park & Ride lot, which was closed for wetlands mitigation. The $133 million project will offer motorists an east-west alternative to Northeast 134th Street in the busy corridor that includes Washington State University Vancouver, Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center, the new Park & Ride, and the Salmon Creek Community Library. Work spanning the freeway is expected to begin this spring, and the entire project is scheduled to be complete in summer 2014.