Clark County Public Works expects to begin work this year on a major infrastructure project that will extend, widen and improve Northeast 10th Avenue, including building a bridge over Whipple Creek.

This project will improve Northeast 10th Avenue between Northeast 154th Street and Northeast 164th Street. Clark County is busy working on construction specifications and other final work so construction can begin in late spring 2017.

The current schedule, which is subsequent to change, calls for the county to open construction bids from private contractors in late February or early March and award a contract two weeks later. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin May 1 and wrap up by fall 2018.

Construction will have little, if any, effect on most residents in the Salmon Creek and Fairgrounds areas. Residents likely will notice increased truck traffic on Northeast 10th Avenue during work hours. Only a handful of residents living close to the project site are expected to experience any construction noise, dust and vibration, which will be minimized as much as possible.
Clark County had considered building roundabouts at Northeast 10th Avenue’s intersections with Northeast 154th Street and Northeast 164th Street. However, these have been dropped in favor of conventional two-way stop signs.

The Northeast 10th Avenue project is designed to:

  • Improve traffic circulation by closing a gap in the existing transportation grid system, upgrading a roadway that does not meet current county road standards and improving access to recreational facilities.
  • Enhance public health and safety by providing an alternate route for emergency responders, constructing safe bicycle and pedestrian facilities and creating another access to the Event Center at the Clark County Fairgrounds and the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater.
  • Support existing land uses and zoning, including providing an opportunity to extend utility lines across Whipple Creek, improving access to existing commercial and industrial properties and supporting Clark County’s 20-year comprehensive plan.

The work on Northeast 10th Avenue will tie into other projects that have been completed or are not scheduled to be built for several more years.

A new freeway interchange opened on Interstate 5 at Northeast 139th Street in August 2014 as part of the Salmon Creek Interchange Project. The joint project between Clark County Public Works and the Washington Department of Transportation also included widening and improving county roads on both sides of the freeway and relocating the Salmon Creek Park & Ride lot for C-Tran buses.
Construction on a related project, to improve Northeast 10th Avenue from Northeast 149th Street to Northeast 154th Street, is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2020.

Clark County is in the early stages of planning for improving or rebuilding the Northeast 179th Street interchange on I-5 and upgrading county roads in the area. These projects will improve safety, enhance mobility and support job creation at the south end of the Discovery Corridor, an area along I-5 that Clark County has been identified for intensive job creation.

The 2015 Legislature, as part of the $16.1 billion transportation package, provided $50 million for these projects, but state funds won’t be available until 2023-2025. Clark County is working with the state Legislature to accelerate construction and provide early state funds for design, engineering and permitting work.

This article was a Guest Post from Jeff Mize, Clark County Public Works

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