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News / Clark County News

Ridgefield roundabouts slated for 179th Street; WSDOT seeks residents’ input through survey

Project near Clark County Fairgrounds aims to improve mobility and safety

By Dylan Jefferies, Columbian staff writer
Published: June 20, 2024, 6:04am
4 Photos
Drivers navigate the interchange at Interstate 5 from Northeast 179th Street in Ridgefield on Monday morning. An upcoming project aims to improve mobility for travelers by removing traffic lights and replacing them with roundabouts.
Drivers navigate the interchange at Interstate 5 from Northeast 179th Street in Ridgefield on Monday morning. An upcoming project aims to improve mobility for travelers by removing traffic lights and replacing them with roundabouts. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

The Washington State Department of Transportation is moving forward with a project that will introduce roundabouts at the on- and offramps to Interstate 5 at Northeast 179th Street, near the Clark County Fairgrounds.

The project is intended to improve mobility and safety.

Program officials unveiled roundabout design concepts at a June 3 open house event in Ridgefield, where participants had a chance to offer feedback.

“Our design team is specifically looking for input on who drives through the intersection, using what-sized vehicles, so the roundabouts can be designed to accommodate them,” Kelly Hanahan, assistant communications manager for the transportation department, said in an email.

The design team is also seeking feedback from those who walk, bike or use personal mobility devices through the area to guide design of a crossing and shared-use path, she added.

“The reason an interchange design with roundabouts was chosen is largely mobility, meaning it’s able to keep current and projected traffic levels moving, while also prioritizing safety,” Hanahan said. “Many visitors also had questions about future event traffic management and the congestion we see around large summer concert events.”

Program officials are seeking additional input through a public virtual survey that is open through Monday. The survey is collecting information on the size of vehicles using the intersection and gathering input on the proposed shared-use path.

The survey also includes preliminary roundabout design concepts for people to view. Survey-takers can also ask questions about construction plans. The survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T2HP27L.

The interchange replacement project is just one of many projects slated along a 2-mile stretch of Northeast 179th Street between Northeast Delfel Road and Northeast 50th Avenue.

The state Department of Transportation is overseeing the interchange replacement project, while many of the other projects along the roadway are being implemented by the county.

Beginning this fall, program officials will craft design plans based on public comment received at the open house and in the survey.

Additional events are slated for 2025 where program officials will share design plans and an updated construction schedule. Construction is expected to begin in either 2027 or 2028 and is expected to be completed by 2030.

The project is part of the 2015 Connecting Washington Investments funding package. The estimated cost of the project is $86 million. Connecting Washington is a 16-year program, funded primarily by an 11.9-cent gas tax increase that was fully phased-in on July 1, 2016.

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