Battle Ground road construction proceeds on schedule

City’s road construction projects to be completed as planned

BATTLE GROUND — Two ongoing road construction projects in the city of Battle Ground are proceeding on schedule toward completion.

The South Parkway Improvement Project and Phase 1 of the SR-502/503 Congestion Relief Project have been underway for much of the spring, summer and early fall.

Construction work in Battle Ground on NW 5th Way, behind the Fred Meyer, connected the road to SR-503, and is part of a three phase Congestion Relief Project in the city. Photo by Mike Schultz
Construction work in Battle Ground on NW 5th Way, behind the Fred Meyer, connected the road to SR-503, and is part of a three phase Congestion Relief Project in the city. Photo by Mike Schultz

The South Parkway Improvement Project began the week of March 6, and is designed to address ongoing issues with the South Parkway road surface, according to Bonnie Gilberti, public information officer for the city of Battle Ground.

South Parkway’s uneven and deteriorated road surface was familiar to many Battle Ground residents for many years, and the city knew it needed addressing. However, with a cost of approximately $5.6 million to make the necessary repairs, the city did not have the funds to improve the road on its own, Gilberti said.

About 12 years ago, Gilberti said that the city began to try to gain state and federal grant money to complete the project, but it was only within the last several years that the city received a grant to repair South Parkway from the State Transportation Improvement Board.

The project is essentially two projects in one, Gilberti said. From East Main Street south to Rasmussen Boulevard, South Parkway underwent a “mill and fill” procedure, where the top two inches of road surface was removed and repaved.

From Rasmussen to Eaton Boulevard, South Parkway needed to be completely rebuilt, Gilberti said. On that portion of the road, the road’s base itself was failing, and patchwork would not improve it.

 

While paving is completed and a deceleration lane has been added on SR-503, NW 5th Way will not open until Jersey barriers are received and place down the center of SR-503 to prevent left turns. Photo by Mike Schultz
While paving is completed and a deceleration lane has been added on SR-503, NW 5th Way will not open until Jersey barriers are received and place down the center of SR-503 to prevent left turns. Photo by Mike Schultz

 

A long standing allegation was that South Parkway’s surface was so degraded because the modern road was built on a base of plank boards from the original surface that had deteriorated, Gilberti said. However, she noted that the city was not able to verify that claim.

“We definitely knew the base was failing,” Gilberti said, and the main reason was that it was not engineered to modern standards.

For the portion of South Parkway from Rasmussen to Eaton Boulevard, sidewalks, new stormwater facilities and some new sewer improvements were also made.

The city has repaved parts of South Parkway, and part of the road in the worst condition has been completely reconstructed over the spring, summer and fall of 2017. The project is proceeding on schedule, according to Public Information Officer Bonnie Gilberti. Photo by Mike Schultz
The city has repaved parts of South Parkway, and part of the road in the worst condition has been completely reconstructed over the spring, summer and fall of 2017. The project is proceeding on schedule, according to Public Information Officer Bonnie Gilberti. Photo by Mike Schultz

There are several stages of completion for the project, Gilberti said. The first is substantial completion, wherein the contractor notifies the city that they believe the project is done, and the city needs to come inspect it.

Once any issues from the city’s inspection are remedied, the project reaches physical completion, at which point all materials and equipment are removed and the site is cleaned up.

Gilberti said that the South Parkway Improvement Project was scheduled to take about nine to 10 months from its beginning in March to completion. The project has not yet reached substantial completion as based on the planned timeline.

“We are still on schedule,” Gilberti said.

The second major construction project in Battle Ground is Phase 1 of the SR-502/503 Congestion Relief Project.

When the Fred Meyer was constructed in 1999, a traffic signal was built at the intersection of 12th Avenue and Main Street for access to the retail store, with an understanding between the store, the city and the state that increased growth would eventually cause congestion at that intersection, Gilberti said.

When the NW 5th Way project is completed, the traffic signal on 12th Avenue and Main Street will be removed, and a median placed along the center of main street to prevent left turns from or onto 12th Avenue. Photo by Mike Schultz
When the NW 5th Way project is completed, the traffic signal on 12th Avenue and Main Street will be removed, and a median placed along the center of main street to prevent left turns from or onto 12th Avenue. Photo by Mike Schultz

Phase 1 of the Congestion Relief Project is designed to eliminate part of that congestion. The major portion of construction has revolved around extending Northwest 5th Way, which runs just north of the Fred Meyer, to SR-503, providing access from the main highway.

The construction took place over the summer and into fall, and NW 5th Way now is paved up to SR-503, and a right hand deceleration lane has been added. However, the road is not yet open, and work has not been happening for several weeks.

Work on the project cannot proceed until the city obtains an order of Jersey barriers to divide the lanes of SR-503 and prevent left turns into or out of 5th Way, Public Works Director Scott Sawyer said.

According to Sawyer, preventing left turns from SR-503 onto NW 5th Way and preventing left turns from NW 5th Way onto SR-503 was a requirement made by the state.

Phase 1 of the SR-502/503 Congestion Relief Project in Battle Ground centers around improving traffic flow along Main Street by removing the traffic signal at the intersection of 12th Avenue and Main Street (bottom left corner) and connecting NW 5th Way, which runs behind Fred Meyer (top) to SR-503. Photo by Mike Schultz
Phase 1 of the SR-502/503 Congestion Relief Project in Battle Ground centers around improving traffic flow along Main Street by removing the traffic signal at the intersection of 12th Avenue and Main Street (bottom left corner) and connecting NW 5th Way, which runs behind Fred Meyer (top) to SR-503. Photo by Mike Schultz

Once the barriers are received, work on the rest of the project “will proceed fairly quickly,” Sawyer said.

According to Gilberti, the barriers are made to order, and take some time before delivery. Once an order is received, the concrete barriers must be left for 28 days to harden, and then must be tested by the Washington State Department of Transportation for strength.

Gilberti said that this apparent delay was planned from the beginning of the project.

“There’s no delay in this project,” Gilberti said, “people just can’t see the work that’s being done.”

Sawyer said that the barriers are expected to be delivered towards the end of November.

Despite no visible work having been done on the NW 5th Way project until Jersey barriers are delivered, Battle Ground Public Information Officer Bonnie Gilberti said the project was proceeding on schedule. Photo by Mike Schultz
Despite no visible work having been done on the NW 5th Way project until Jersey barriers are delivered, Battle Ground Public Information Officer Bonnie Gilberti said the project was proceeding on schedule. Photo by Mike Schultz

Once the barriers are obtained and in place, Sawyer said that the next part of Phase 1 of the Congestion Relief Project will begin.

The traffic signal at 12th Avenue and Main Street, leading into Fred Meyer, will be removed, Sawyer said.

According to Gilberti, a median will be placed in the center of main street to limit the traffic flow on 12th Avenue to right turns onto Main Street and right turns from Main onto 12th only.

While this will restrict how traffic coming from the west into Battle Ground can access Fred Meyer, Gilberti said that a left turn lane on NW 15th Avenue will be extended, to allow eastbound traffic access to Fred Meyer via NW 1st Street.

The entire 3-phase SR-502/503 Congestion Relief Project, estimated at $7.7 million, will be funded by the state’s Connecting Washington program.

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