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SR 500 - St. Johns Blvd Interchange


November 2013

  • This project was substantially complete on Oct. 25, 2013.
  • The interchange opened to drivers on Sept. 12, 2012.
  • This project was awarded to Tapani Underground Inc. on April 29, 2010, with a winning bid of $27.2 million.

This project replaced the current signalized intersection at State Route 500 and St. Johns Boulevard in Vancouver with a freeway-style interchange. Crews raised the St. Johns roadway by 25 feet, built a new bridge to take traffic up and over SR 500, and connected SR 500 to St. Johns with interchange ramps.

The new interchange was built in three stages:
Stage 1: Crews began construction and built a temporary detour, or “shoofly,” route along St. Johns.
Stage 2: Traffic on St. Johns was shifted to the shoofly route. Crews built the new bridge over SR 500 and began constructing new interchange ramps.
Stage 3: Crews connected SR 500 and St. Johns with interchange ramps and completed construction.

C-TRAN busses remained on regular routes during construction. A portion of the Burnt Bridge Creek/Discovery Trail System was closed for realignment during construction. Trail users followed a signed detour to access the trail system during the closure period.

Traffic impacts
Traffic impacts were estimated to last for up to a year and a half. Drivers saw narrowed lanes and reduced speeds on SR 500 and St. Johns, and restrictions on left and right turns throughout the project. WSDOT kept St. Johns and SR 500 open to through traffic and pedestrians during construction. There were occasional short-term weekend or nighttime closures for girder setting or traffic shifts.

Why is WSDOT building this project?
This was one of several projects to make travel on SR 500 safer and more efficient. The first of these projects, the Andresen Road interchange, was completed in 1996.  The second project, the Thurston Way interchange, was completed in October 2002. The most recent project, the NE 112th Avenue/Gher Road interchange, was opened to traffic in October 2004 and complete in June 2005.

The St. Johns Boulevard intersection is one of several intersections on SR 500 between I-5 and Andresen Road where collision rates are approximately 30 to 50 percent above the statewide average for intersections. In the next 20 years, the average daily traffic volumes on SR 500 and intersecting roads are expected to increase by up to 30 percent. The current configuration of this intersection cannot accommodate these volumes of traffic.

The End Result
The completed interchange allows traffic to flow freely on SR 500, and reduces the wait time for drivers at the St. Johns signal.

The project will allow St. Johns traffic to travel up and over SR 500 on a new bridge, and remove the traffic signal from SR 500. Drivers will navigate the interchange using on and off ramps.

Project Benefits

  • Safety: Collisions caused by vehicles changing lanes and merging at the current intersection will be reduced, including rear-end type collisions that occur at the current signalized intersection.
  • Congestion Relief: This project will reduce existing congestion at the signalized intersection by allowing through traffic on SR 500 to proceed without stopping at a signal, and by allowing access to and from St. Johns Boulevard using on and off ramps.

What is the project timeline?

  • 1999: Preliminary design and environmental work began.
  • 2002: Environmental assessment completed, and preliminary design work stops due to lack of funding.
  • 2006: Design of the St. Johns Boulevard intersection resumes after the state Legislature passes the 2005 Transportation Partnership Funding Package.
  • Spring 2010: Design completed.
  • January 10, 2011: Project advertised to contractors.
  • Spring 2011: Construction began.
  • Summer 2012: Interchange opened to drivers.
  • 2013: Construction anticipated to be complete.

Financial Information

Financial Data for PIN 450000A
Funding Source Amount ($ in thousands)
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) $0
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) $29,358
Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) $60,870
Total $90,228

Project signage will reflect the cost of construction engineering, project bid award and sales tax.

How can I get more information?

Area Engineer Leon Winger
WSDOT Vancouver Area Office
11018 NE 51st Circle
Vancouver, WA 98682
Phone: 360-905-1500


Dan Knoll
WSDOT Communications
11018 NE 51st Circle
Vancouver, WA 98682 
Phone: 360-905-2057

or access our project feedback form.

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