Construction crews have broken ground on a public works project that’s intended to improve and connect two stretches of Northeast 10th Avenue that are separated by Whipple Creek.
Earlier this week, Cascade Bridge LLC, which was awarded the $14.62 million contract for the project by the county, began preliminary work on widening the stretches of Northeast 10th Avenue, while also adding sidewalks, bike lanes and a 450-foot bridge that will connect the road across the creek, said Bart Arthur, Clark County Public Works construction engineer.
“(The project) needs to happen to improve the local network for movement of vehicles back and forth,” said Arthur. “There is a lot of land up there that’s zoned for light industrial,” said Arthur, who added that it made sense to improve the road before the land develops.
Arthur also said that when there is a large event at the nearby Sunlight Supply Amphitheater or at the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds, nearby roads become congested as drivers enter and exit Interstate 5.
Arthur said the project is being funded partially from the county’s road fund as well as from some federal money administered by the state. The project will also include facilities to collect and treat polluted storm runoff, as well as water and sanitary sewer lines.
During construction, Northeast 10th Avenue will be closed to most traffic between Northeast 154th Street and Northeast 164th Street on both sides of Whipple Creek, according to a county news release. However, residents, emergency vehicles and deliveries will have access, although drivers may encounter delays.
Right now, construction crews are working on utility relocation work that shouldn’t disrupt service, said Arthur. He said construction is expected to wrap up around September next year. He said that during the 2017-2018 winter, construction work will slow, but work on the bridge will continue. He said it will be a steel-girder bridge with a concrete deck.
“The bridge will pretty much span the entire distance between the two abutments,” said Arthur. The bridge will be 48 feet above the creek, and the county expects it to last for 75 to 100 years.
Previously, the county, along with the Washington State Department of Transportation, completed the Salmon Creek Interchange Project. The county has also finished improvements on Northeast 10th Avenue, from Northeast Tenney Road to Northeast 141st Street, as well as other nearby roads.
In 2020, the county plans to begin a related project improving Northeast 10th Avenue from Northeast 149th Street to Northeast 154th Street.