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News / Clark County News

Vancouver awarded $3 million for S.E. First Street construction

By Katy Sword, Columbian politics reporter
Published: December 7, 2018, 6:49pm
5 Photos
Southeast First Street between Southeast 164th and 177th avenues. The city of Vancouver received a grant for improvements on this stretch of road.
Southeast First Street between Southeast 164th and 177th avenues. The city of Vancouver received a grant for improvements on this stretch of road. Photo Gallery

Vancouver has been awarded $3 million from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board to help fund construction on Southeast First Street between Southeast 164th and Southeast 177th avenues.

The full project extends to Southeast 192nd Avenue, but the city is focusing on the west segment to best utilize current resources.

Vancouver plans to improve safety, capacity, accessibility and connectivity via the road improvements.

The stretch of road on Southeast First Street was originally constructed as a rural two-lane road and now needs upgrades to serve as a more urban street system. Upgrades include sidewalks, bike facilities, stormwater bioretention and street lights. The price of the improvements is $14 million.

“The city of Vancouver continues to build regional support for our transportation improvement program by leveraging our local street funds with state and federal grant resources,” Ryan Lopossa, Vancouver Public Works Streets and Transportation manager, said in a press release. “We appreciate the work that the Transportation Improvement Board has done to help fund the Southeast First Street project and look forward to advancing this critical investment into construction in late 2019.”

The Southeast First Street project is listed among the city’s top priorities as part of its six-year Transportation Improvement Program. The city is seeking additional funding to pay for the rest of the project, including $7 million in Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grant funding.

To date, design and right-of-way acquisition work has been funded through $1.6 million in federal grants and $700,000 in city matching funds. The east end of the project, between Southeast 177th and Southeast 192nd avenues, is also being designed.

The city used current traffic volumes to project 20 years forward. Using that projection, city staff propose a three-lane street that includes a center turn lane. Near the Southeast 164th Avenue intersection, the three-lane street will include a right-turn lane and dual left-turn lanes. At Southeast 192nd Avenue, where Southeast First Street is currently six lanes, the six lanes would remain intact.

Construction will tentatively begin in 2020 as long as funding is secured.

Columbian politics reporter