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

Project news

  • full weekend closure of SR 500 between St. Johns Road and Andresen Road is scheduled from 11 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9 to 4 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 12 to complete safety improvement work. 
  • This project was awarded on Tuesday, Sept. 4 to Cascade Bridge, LLC.
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What should travelers expect during construction?

  • Crews will close both directions of SR 500 between St. Johns and Andresen from 11 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9 until 4 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 12 to remove the traffic lights at Northeast Falk Road/Northeast 42nd Avenue and Northeast Stapleton Road/Northeast 54th Avenue, install barrier in the middle of the highway, restripe the roadway to extend merge lanes, and reconfigure both intersections to safely direct traffic on and off the highway.
  • During the closure, drivers will not be able to cross SR 500 at these intersections or travel on SR 500 between St. Johns and Andresen.
  • Travelers using sidewalks or bicycle facilities will no longer be able cross SR 500 at Northeast Stapleton Road/Northeast 54th Avenue once the closure begins. Travelers should plan ahead and use alternate routes.
  • Construction work could include the use of loud equipment, which will adhere to city and county noise ordinance guidelines.  
  • Additional daytime and nighttime lane closures may be needed to complete construction work after the weekend closure.
  • The work planned during the weekend closure is extremely weather dependent and could be rescheduled to the following weekend if rain delays work.

Changes in how you travel

  • When construction is complete, drivers will have uninterrupted traffic flow on SR 500 from I-5 to Fourth Plain Boulevard.
  • Drivers will no longer be able 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 will still be able to 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 will not be able to 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:
    • When the traffic lights are removed, C-TRAN will begin 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/

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.

Project background

There are two traffic lights on SR 500, at Northeast Falk Road/Northeast 42nd Avenue and at Northeast 54th Avenue/Northeast Stapleton Road. These two intersections are the last two remaining lights between I-5 and I-205 on SR 500. As traffic increases, so do the number of collisions. In the past five years, nearly 400 crashes have occurred near these two intersections. On average, that is more than one crash a week. Analysis of these crashes shows that they are the result of increasing congestion, lights and driver inattention.

In spring and summer 2018, WSDOT conducted a study to identify cost-efficient 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 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.

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 scheduled to begin

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.