SR 500 - 42nd and 54th Intersections - Safety Improvements

Project news

  • Following a weekend-long closure, SR 500 reopened on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, with new safety improvements in place that removed the traffic lights at Northeast Falk Road/Northeast 42nd Avenue and Northeast 54th Avenue/Northeast Stapleton Road.
  • Travelers should pay close attention to the new roadway conditions and use patience as people find new routes.
  • Subscribe to receive email updates with current construction information. 

Needs & benefits

Project overview

Nearly 400 crashes occurred at the intersections of SR 500 and Northeast Falk Road/Northeast 42nd Avenue and 54th Avenue/Northeast Stapleton Road over five years. These intersections were the last two remaining traffic lights on SR 500 between I-5 and I-205. In response,  WSDOT conducted a study in spring and summer 2018 to identify cost-effective safety improvements along SR 500 between St. Johns Road and Andresen Road in Vancouver.

With input from the community, agency partners, area schools, businesses and emergency services, WSDOT selected the Right In, Right Out concept to improve safety along SR 500 in Vancouver and Clark County. Emergency service providers and the public were most supportive of this concept, because it balances significant safety improvements to SR 500, while maintaining some connectivity to the highway from local streets.

WSDOT secured funding to begin initial implementation of safety improvements on State Route 500 in Vancouver. In fall 2018, crews removed the traffic signals and installed median barrier at Northeast Falk Road/Northeast 42nd Avenue and Northeast Stapleton Road/Northeast 54th Avenue. Travelers can continue to access these intersections by turning right onto or off of SR 500, but can no longer turn left or cross the highway at these intersections.

Travelers should pay close attention to the new roadway conditions and use patience as people find new routes.

People who use the sidewalks or bicycle lanes in the area will be unable to cross SR 500 at Northeast Stapleton Road/Northeast 54th Avenue until a new grade-separated crossing is constructed, but can continue to use the overcrossing at Northeast Falk Road/Northeast 42nd Avenue. 

WSDOT plans to complete future improvements as time and funding allow. These activities include designing and constructing a new grade-separated pedestrian/bicycle crossing at Northeast Stapleton Road/Northeast 54th Avenue and addressing secondary effects that may be associated with immediate improvements, which could include investment in city or county transportation facilities. Funding is identified in our 10-year plan, starting in the 2021-2023 biennium, but WSDOT is working with our partners to find opportunities to expedite that funding if possible.

Changes in how you travel

  • Drivers now have uninterrupted traffic flow on SR 500 from I-5 to Fourth Plain Boulevard.
  • Drivers can no longer to turn left on to or off of SR 500, or cross the highway at Northeast Falk Road/Northeast 42nd Avenue and Northeast 54th Avenue/Northeast Stapleton Road or turn left on to or off of SR 500 at these intersections. 
  • Drivers can still turn right off of and onto SR 500 at Northeast Falk Road/Northeast 42nd Avenue and Northeast Stapleton/Northeast 54th Avenue. 
  • Travelers using sidewalks or bicycle facilities cannot cross SR 500 at Northeast Stapleton Road/Northeast 54th Avenue until a new grade-separated pedestrian/bicycle crossing can be designed and constructed. WSDOT is working with partners to find opportunities to expedite funding for a crossing, and offset these effects by providing alternate choices.
  • Alternate transportation options:
    • C-TRAN is operating a temporary, no-fare shuttle service across SR 500 to transport pedestrians that currently rely on the crosswalk at Northeast Stapleton Road/Northeast 54th Avenue. This service will be available from approximately 6 a.m. to 9:10 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 7:10 p.m. on weekends. Buses will pick passengers up by request based on an hourly schedule. The shuttle bus is able to accommodate wheelchairs and assisted mobility devices, but is not able to accommodate bikes. 
      • Passengers must request a ride at least one day in advance for the shuttle to come. To request a ride, call C-TRAN at 360-695-0123. 
      • On the north side of SR 500, the pickup location is the 4000 block of Northeast 54th Avenue, near Roads End Neighborhood Park. On the south side of SR 500, the pickup location is the 2800 block of Stapleton Road, at Stop ID 689 (currently served by Route 39).
    • Additional C-TRAN route information can be found at www.c-tran.com.  
    • All Vancouver Public School middle and high school students are eligible to receive a free C-TRAN bus pass (Youth Opportunity Pass). A completed consent form must be returned to the student's school. The form is available at local schools, or can be downloaded at www.c-tran.com/fares/youth-opportunity-pass
    • The 1-Call/1-Click Trip Resource Center is a program provided by the Human Services Council to help travelers identify information for over 45 different transportation services and providers serving Southwest Washington. Travelers can access the trip planner and service provider information at www.tripresourcecenter.org/

Next steps

WSDOT, in partnership with other local agencies, will monitor the impacts of these changes to other roads in the surrounding area to identify any necessary secondary investments, and design and construct a new grade-seperated crossing for non-motorized travelers at Northeast Stapleton Road/Northeast 54th Avenue. WSDOT is working with partners to find opportunities to expedite funding for this work.

Project benefits

  • Safety: Predicted to reduce crashes by up to 70% by reducing the risk of rear-end and left-turn related crashes at or near the traffic lights.
  • Improved travel times: Expected to reduce travel delays for drivers on SR 500.

Timeline

  • Spring/Summer 2018 – Solicited community and stakeholder input
  • Summer 2018 - Preferred project to improve safety at these locations chosen and funding to implement initial safety improvements secured
  • August 2018 – Project advertised for competitive bid
  • September 4, 2018 - Project awarded to Cascade Bridge, LLC 
  • October/November 2018 – Construction of highway safety improvements competed 

Funding

Less than $1 million.

Project Pin# 450018M

Contact

Please email or call the study team at 360-905-2076 with questions or comments about these safety improvements.