WSDOT attempts to address need for congestion relief on northbound I-205 in Vancouver

New ramp meters will go live for the evening commute Mon., June 3

VANCOUVER — Travelers in east Vancouver will soon notice a change to the way they enter onto northbound Interstate 205 during the afternoon commute.  

On Mon., June 3, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will begin to use two new ramp meters on the westbound State Route 500 and Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard on-ramps to northbound I-205. Metering will improve traffic flow on I-205 and reduce duration of congestion on the interstate.  

Two ramp meters will be installed at the on-ramps from SR 500 and Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard, to northbound I-205. Graphic courtesy of Washington State Department of Transportation
Two ramp meters will be installed at the on-ramps from SR 500 and Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard, to northbound I-205. Graphic courtesy of Washington State Department of Transportation

“During peak evening travel times, the on-ramp to northbound I-205 becomes a choke point as several drivers try to merge onto the freeway simultaneously,” said WSDOT Traffic Engineer Michael Southwick. “Ramp meters will help improve travel times and safety by breaking up traffic and allowing smoother merging onto the highway.  

Ramp meters are signals that control the frequency in which vehicles enter the flow of traffic on the freeways. It’s a proven cost-effective strategy used in urban areas around the nation to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow and safety. Additionally, metering improves trip reliability during busy travel periods, and can help the freeway recover sooner with faster speeds following significant backups and delays caused by congestion or a blocking incident.  

The new meters are part of a strategy WSDOT is using to improve the efficiency of the highway system to move more vehicles during peak periods. A majority of ramps in Vancouver could benefit from ramp meters. This is one of several ramp meters to be added in the area.  

Before heading out this door, drivers can get the latest traffic details by visiting WSDOT’s travel alerts, or by following WSDOT’s Twitter account.

Information provided by Washington State Department of Transportation.

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