Tuesday, April 13, 2021
April 13, 2021

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Clark County Council OKs $2.9 million for roundabouts on N.E. 179th Street east of Interstate 5

Construction is expected to begin 2024, finish in 2025

By , Columbian county government and small cities reporter

The Clark County Council on Tuesday approved $2.9 million for two roundabouts on Northeast 179th Street east of Interstate 5 serving an area slated for extensive housing and commercial development.

The roundabouts will be located on Northeast 179th Street at Northeast 29th and Northeast 50th avenues. Construction is expected to begin in 2024 and wrap up by 2025.

Currently, the intersections have single lanes in all directions leading to four-way stops. The roundabouts will initially feature single lanes but will have the ability to be expanded to two lanes.

In August 2019, the council approved a $66.5 million private-public partnership plan to develop the area. Developer agreements outline more than 1,000 housing units along with a commercial center.

In November, the council removed roughly 2,200 acres of land in the area from an urban holding designation, clearing the way for development and infrastructure improvements. Building out all of the land lifted from urban holding would produce 5,650 housing units, 7,670 jobs and $34 million annually in local and state tax revenue, according to a study commissioned by the county.

The roundabouts were included in discussions about lifting urban holding, which is a planning designation that halts development until funding is secured for infrastructure upgrades to accommodate additional traffic. They are also part of the county’s state-mandated, six-year Transportation Improvement Program for 2021 through 2026.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing how this project progresses over the years,” Councilor Julie Olson said. “I know it’s been years in the making … so it’s just really nice to see some really positive movement and momentum.”

The county agreed to the contracts Tuesday with local design and architecture firm Otak Inc. to complete the work. Funding will come from the county’s road fund, traffic impact fees, federal grants and real estate excise taxes.

Ahmad Qayoumi, Clark County’s Public Works director, said Tuesday that roundabouts will be cheaper options than signaled intersections due to maintenance costs. He also pointed to a significant amount of data illustrating roundabouts as safer options because they force drivers to slow down and focus on just one direction.

Columbian county government and small cities reporter

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