Construction has begun at the downtown plaza known as Turtle Place this week as part of C-Tran’s development of The Vine. The bus rapid transit service will connect downtown to Westfield Vancouver mall via a route that will run largely along Fourth Plain Boulevard.
Turtle Place, along West Seventh Street between Main and Washington streets, will be the terminus for the 6-mile transit line.
The $53 million bus rapid transit line, the first of its kind in the Portland-Vancouver region, is the largest project in C-Tran’s history. An official groundbreaking was held in August at Turtle Place but actual construction work started only recently.
Additional work has been going on in other spots, including C-Tran’s headquarters, bus storage and maintenance yard off Northeast 65th Avenue.
The Vine will run between a revamped transit center at Westfield Vancouver mall and the terminus station at Turtle Place. It will replace the No. 4 and No. 44 bus routes that currently serve the Fourth Plain corridor. It’s set to open late next year.
Turtle Place is part of what used to be C-Tran’s Seventh Street Transit Center. That facility closed in 2007, when C-Tran dispersed its downtown bus stops after chronic petty crime and other problems along Seventh Street.
The plaza won’t fade entirely into history. Concept images show the large mural will remain and that the fountain sculpture will be incorporated into the transit center.