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Monday, September 10, 2012
Leon Winger, WSDOT project engineer, 360-905-1500 (Vancouver)
Heidi Sause, WSDOT communications, 360-905-2057 (Vancouver)
Sept. 12 ribbon cutting celebrates full use of new interchange
VANCOUVER – Construction crews are three months ahead of schedule and just days from fully opening a new interchange for smoother driving and safer travels on State Route 500 and St. Johns Boulevard.
During the past fifteen months, crews with Tapani Underground Inc. replaced a traffic signal on SR 500 with a freeway-style interchange. To do this, they raised St. Johns Boulevard by 25 feet, built a new bridge over SR 500 and built new interchange ramps.
“Just over a year of construction has brought long-lasting transformation to this area,” said Don Wagner, Southwest Region administrator for the Washington State Department of Transportation. “With the new interchange, drivers will see fewer backups, brake lights and collisions, which means quicker and safer driving all around.”
Earlier this summer, the eastern half of the interchange opened to traffic. On Wednesday, Sept. 12, WSDOT will join project stakeholders, local elected officials and the community to cut a ribbon on the western half of the interchange.
Crews will transition drivers onto the full width of the St. Johns Boulevard bridge and all four interchange ramps throughout the day. The entire interchange will be open in time for Wednesday’s evening commute.
Crews will continue paving and landscaping in the area until early 2013, but that work will be a minor blip on the radar for the 65,000 drivers who use this route each day and have spent more than a year navigating detours around the construction site.
The $48 million project, partially funded by the 2005 gas tax, remains on budget and on schedule for completion in early 2013.
Event accommodation requests for people with disabilities can be made by contacting the WSDOT Diversity/ADA Compliance team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling toll free, 855-362-4ADA (4232). Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may make a request by calling the Washington State Relay at 711.
WSDOT keeps people, businesses and the economy moving by operating and improving the state's transportation systems. To learn more about what we're doing, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/news for pictures, videos, news and blogs. Real time traffic information is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic or by dialing 511.
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