Highway 502 expansion project to begin in June

$88 million endeavor will widen roadway from Battle Ground to I-5

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter

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Crews will break ground in June on a project to widen state Highway 502 between Interstate 5 and Battle Ground, the Washington State Department of Transportation announced Friday.

The $88 million project will expand the current two-lane highway to four lanes and install a median barrier along that stretch. Construction is expected to wrap up in late 2016.

The concept for the project dates back to 1999, when WSDOT began working with a resident advisory committee to improve safety along the corridor.

The 4.5-mile stretch of roadway was previously identified as a collision-prone zone that must be renovated to keep up with population growth. Battle Ground has grown from a city of 10,000 people in 2000 to nearly 18,000 in 2012.

The community selected the option of widening the roadway in 2007.

In the following six years, the agency reported that it acquired more than 170 properties along the corridor — making it the largest right-of-way acquisition the agency has ever had for a single project in Southwest Washington.

“It was the result of a lot of effort and patience and we appreciate how much the community worked with us during this tough process,” WSDOT Project Engineer Chris Tams said in a press release.

In the first year of construction, crews will focus on relocating multiple utilities that run along both sides of the highway, which include gas, electricity, water, phone and cable.

In the second and third years, crews will widen the road, install new traffic signals and median barriers, and construct bike lanes and a sidewalk in Dollars Corner. Traffic signals are planned for Northeast 29th, 50th, 72nd and 92nd avenues.