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Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Leon Winger, WSDOT project engineer, 360-905-1500 (Vancouver)
Heidi Sause, WSDOT communications, 360-905-2057 (Vancouver)
St. Johns Blvd. closed overnight June 8 for traffic shift
VANCOUVER – After a year of construction at State Route 500 and St. Johns Boulevard, crews are getting ready to shift traffic onto the new St. Johns Boulevard Bridge and open the highway to free-flowing traffic.
St. Johns Boulevard and St. James Road will be closed between Cherry Road and East 33rd Street from 9 p.m. Friday, June 8, to 5 a.m. Saturday, June 9, while crews reconfigure the intersection. Drivers should follow signed detour routes to navigate around the closure.
During the closure, crews will shift St. Johns Boulevard traffic onto the east side of the new bridge and open two interchange ramps that will connect the bridge to SR 500. The new bridge will carry drivers up and over SR 500 and eliminate the need for a traffic signal on the highway.
“Friday night is the last time highway drivers will ever stop for a traffic signal at St. Johns,” said Leon Winger, project engineer for the Washington State Department of Transportation. “As of Saturday morning, half of the new interchange will be open to drivers and it will be the end of stop-and-go traffic on this stretch of SR 500.”
Crews will also reopen the Burnt Bridge Creek and Discovery Trail system to cyclists and pedestrians.
The new interchange ramps will give drivers new turning options and alleviate some of the restrictions that have been in place at the intersection since last November. Drivers will use the ramps to access St. Johns Boulevard from westbound SR 500 and eastbound SR 500 from St. Johns Boulevard.
There is still a lot of work left to complete on the new interchange, and several traffic restrictions will remain in place until the project is complete in early 2013:
St. Johns Boulevard
- Speed reduced to 25 mph
- Traffic reduced to two lanes
- No access to westbound SR 500
- No access from eastbound SR 500
- Speed reduced to 45 mph
- No access to St. Johns Boulevard from eastbound SR 500
- No access to westbound SR 500 from St. Johns Boulevard
Drivers can find more information about the traffic changes and alternate routes on the project website.
During the next few months of construction, crews will build two more ramps on the west side of the interchange and complete work on the west side of the St. Johns Boulevard Bridge.
The $48 million project improves safety and mobility for 60,000 daily drivers. Drivers can sign up online to receive project email updates, and view photos of work activities on WSDOT’s Flickr page.
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