AASHTO Journal, 14 September 2012
A new interchange by Washington State Department of Transportation aimed at creating a safer and easier driving experience for 65,000 daily users opened up to traffic Wednesday, about three months ahead of schedule.
The interchange was constructed to improve the flow of traffic on State Route 500 and St. Johns Boulevard in Vancouver. Construction on the $48 million project began in the spring of 2011 and is partially funded through the state’s 2005 gas tax. The entire project replaces of a traffic signal on SR 500 with a freeway-style interchange. To do this, WSDOT and Tapani Underground, Inc. needed to raise St. Johns Boulevard 25 feet, build a new bridge over SR 500, and build four new interchange ramps.
One half of the interchange opened up to traffic earlier this summer, while the western half opened to traffic Wednesday. Paving and landscaping work will continue through early 2013.
“Just over a year of construction has brought long-lasting transformation to this area,” said WSDOT Southwest Region Administrator Don Wagner in a statement. “With the new interchange, drivers will see fewer backups, brake lights, and collisions, which means quicker and safer driving all around.”
Additional information on the SR 500/St. Johns Boulevard project is available at bit.ly/SR500WSDOT.