East Mill Plain to undergo further improvements

Vancouver City Council on Monday approved a $3.65 million contract with Vancouver-based Rotschy Inc. for construction of the East Mill Plain Boulevard/104th Avenue improvement project. The project is designed to enhance safety and reduce congestion and delays on the Mill Plain corridor, with improved access at the Mill Plain and Interstate 205 interchange. Construction is expected to begin this year.

The section of Mill Plain at I-205 is one of the heaviest traveled streets in Vancouver. Currently, traffic flow is impacted by two signalized intersections – Southeast 104th and 105th avenues – less than 200 feet apart, lack of queuing space for the southbound I-205 ramp, and high volumes of vehicles heading east on Mill Plain. At the same time, the eastbound left-turn lane to the northbound I-205 ramp lacks the queuing space needed to reduce conflicts of left-turning vehicles blocking eastbound vehicles.

The improvement project will eliminate the traffic signal at 105th Avenue and reroute traffic through the Mill Plain Boulevard/104th intersection. The project will also bring much needed resurfacing to East Mill Plain Boulevard from 104th Avenue to Chkalov Drive, enhance pedestrian access, improve stormwater management, and add/upgrade street lights within the Mill Plain / I-205 interchange.

The estimated $10.1 million project is funded through grants and local matching dollars, and when completed will utilize $4.2 million federal grant dollars, including a $2 million in federal Surface Transportation grant provided through the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC).

More information about the project is available at www.cityofvancouver.us/millplain-104.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.