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Sunday, October 1, 2023
Oct. 1, 2023

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Construction to begin on easing Mill Plain congestion near I-205

Drivers should expect lane closures, delays

By , Columbian staff reporter

Construction will start next month to improve traffic flow along one of the most heavily traveled streets in Vancouver.

An average of 39,000 vehicles a day use the half-mile-long section of Mill Plain Boulevard near Interstate 205, from Northeast 104th Avenue east to Chkalov Drive.

Last month, the Vancouver City Council awarded a $3.65 million contract to Rotschy Inc. of Vancouver to improve traffic flow and safety. The overall project, including design and right-of-way acquisition, is expected to cost $10.1 million.

The project has been part of the city’s transportation improvement program since 2001. Upcoming construction includes:

• Lengthening the I-205 onramp on the south side of Mill Plain Boulevard to provide more queuing room for drivers traveling east on Mill Plain Boulevard and turning south onto the freeway.

• Extending Northeast 104th Avenue, from its current T-shaped intersection on the north side of Mill Plain Boulevard, to the south and looping it east to connect with Southeast Second Street and Southeast 105th Avenue.

• Removing the traffic signal at Mill Plain Boulevard and Southeast 105th Avenue, which is less than 200 feet from the signalized intersection at Mill Plain Boulevard and Southeast 104th Street, so the intersection will become right in-right out only.

• Closing Southeast 107th Avenue just south of Mill Plain Boulevard.

• Building a short median on Mill Plain Boulevard, from Northeast 104th Avenue to east of Southeast 105th Avenue.

• Improving pedestrian access, traffic signals, stormwater facilities and street lighting.

• Resurfacing Mill Plain Boulevard, from Northeast 104th Avenue east to Chkalov Drive.

In early March, work is expected to start along Southeast 104th Avenue and Southeast Second Street. Construction hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Beginning in April, construction is expected to begin on Mill Plain Boulevard. To reduce driver disruption, this work will primarily be done at night.

Mill Plain Boulevard will remain open during construction, although drivers should expect lane closures and delays. There also may be closed crosswalks and temporary pedestrian detours.

More background on the project, including a map showing upcoming improvements, is available on the city’s website, www.cityofvancouver.us/millplain-104.

Columbian staff reporter