Saturday, October 1, 2022
Oct. 1, 2022

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Crews prepare for roundabout at Highway 500, 182nd Avenue

More roadwork planned for county’s highways, freeways

By , Columbian staff writer

There’s an oft-repeated joke that the Pacific Northwest has four seasons: rain, more rain, still raining and construction. Clark County drivers, especially those using the 10-mile stretch of state Highway 500 that’s been under construction for nearly a month, would probably agree.

Crews from the Washington State Department of Transportation began work July 5 along Highway 500/Fourth Plain Boulevard between Northeast 162nd Avenue in the Mountain View Meadows area and Leadbetter Road in Camas. The project includes paving, installing a new roundabout at the intersection of Highway 500 and Northeast 182nd Avenue, removing passing lanes and posting new speed signs.

According to WSDOT, eliminating the passing lanes and lowering speeds was needed to improve the overall safety of the road. Speeds along Highway 500 are now 40 mph between Northeast 162nd and 166th avenues; 45 mph between 166th Avenue and Robinson Road near Camas; and 35 mph between Robinson Road and near Southeast Fifth Street in Camas.

Once the paving project is finished in August, all existing passing zones will be permanently closed from 166th Avenue to Northeast Hathaway Road.

Although road crews will do much of the paving work at night, some daytime closures will be necessary, in addition to nighttime closures. Drivers should also expect delays up to 20 minutes, travel limited to a single lane and a pilot car to escort travelers through the work zone. Residents whose driveways connect to this section of Fourth Plain Boulevard should be prepared to wait for a pilot car to navigate them through the work zone.

Traffic delays will likely only get worse starting Aug. 3 when the intersection of Fourth Plain Boulevard and 182nd Avenue will be fully closed for 10 days as the new roundabout is installed.

A temporary traffic signal will be used at Northeast 88th Street and Ward Road to help keep traffic moving through the area, but drivers should plan to use alternate routes and expect delays.

According to WSDOT, the main reasons for the roundabout are improved safety and reduced traffic congestion.

“Crash data collected over a five-year time frame between 2013 to 2017 showed this intersection had a significant amount of crashes, most of which were rear-end or at-angle crashes. Installing a compact roundabout at this intersection will improve safety by reducing the potential for these severe types of collisions, while keeping traffic flowing through the intersection,” WSDOT officials said.

The total cost for the project, which is expected to be completed by the fall, is $1.4 million.

Other projects

The Highway 500 project isn’t the only WSDOT road project in Clark County.

Drivers using Interstate 205 and Interstate 5 during the night will find single- and double-lane closures, ramp closures and temporary speed limit reductions as crews replace concrete panels on both roads.

Panels are being replaced on north and southbound I-205 between the Interstate 205 Bridge and the I-5/I-205 split, and along southbound I-5 between 134th and 179th streets.

Several of the existing concrete panels are cracked, broken or not seated properly, which causes an uneven driving surface, according to WSDOT. If the concrete panels are not repaired and/or replaced, the agency said it can cause further deterioration to the roadways.

WSDOT maintenance crews are taking advantage of the dry weather to complete paving work. Crews will be working in both directions of Northeast 117th Avenue, also known as state Highway 503, between Fourth Plain and Onsdorff boulevards north of Battle Ground.

Pedestrian and bike path improvements along Highway 503 near Salmon Creek and along the south side of Highway 500 between Northeast Andresen Road and Thurston Way are also scheduled.

Later this year, WSDOT will add new travel lanes along a mile and a half of state Highway 14 between Southeast 164th Avenue and the I-205/Highway 14 interchange in Vancouver. In addition to the new travel lanes, a peak-use shoulder lane will also be extended along the same stretch of road. This will allow drivers traveling west on Highway 14 toward I-205 to use the shoulder as an additional travel lane during heavy traffic periods.

Construction could begin in October, and drivers will need to reduce their speed and plan ahead for possible delays.

Drivers can get real-time travel information on WSDOT’s website, app or regional Twitter account.

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