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Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Feb. 28, 2024

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Noise wall takes shape on Highway 14 in Vancouver

Crews must complete sound barrier before beginning work on third lane between S.E. 164th, I-205

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
4 Photos
A project to widen state Highway 14 to three lanes in each direction between Interstate 205 and Southeast 164th Avenue is under construction with completion due next year.
A project to widen state Highway 14 to three lanes in each direction between Interstate 205 and Southeast 164th Avenue is under construction with completion due next year. (Photos by Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Although some travelers lament that construction of a third lane on state Highway 14 between Southeast 164th Avenue and Interstate 205 can look stagnant, the Washington State Department of Transportation’s contractor is busy working on a noise wall along the north side of the highway.

Vancouver’s newest sound wall must be built before much of the roadway work and other construction activities can begin. It is 54 percent complete, with 255 of the 470 panels in place. The Washington State Department of Transportation’s contractor casts 16 panels each week and is on schedule to finish the wall by this fall.

The rest of the $28 million project is anticipated to wrap up next summer. Once the project is complete, drivers will be able to use that stretch of shoulder during peak times on westbound state Highway 14, marking the first, non-bus instance of shoulder driving in Clark County.

With the narrower roadway and no shoulders on the highway, it is not uncommon for drivers to slam on the brakes when approaching the I-205 onramp.

Between December 2022 and June 9, the stretch of road had 21 collisions and 11 disabled vehicles, like those that ran out of gas or got a flat tire, according to WSDOT. In the same period last year, there were eight reported incidents.

To alert drivers of congestion, WSDOT is planning to set up a queue warning system, a sign that will indicate the conditions ahead.

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.

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