BATTLE GROUND — This week, the city of Battle Ground inched one step closer to the construction phase of the South Parkway Improvement Project after receiving the long-awaited permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Construction on the fully funded project was initially projected to begin earlier this year, assuming the Corps’ typical timeline to review the project and issue the required permit. That timeline, however, became protracted when the Corps rerouted the city’s permit application to their Seattle office due to a staffing shortage at the local Vancouver office.
“Our permit application suddenly became one of the many in line for review at the Corps’ Seattle office,” said Public Works Director Scott Sawyer. “We could not move the project toward construction without the proper permit.”
In May of this year, without a permit and with the construction season already in full swing, city officials made the decision to delay the project until the spring of 2017 when bids would be more competitive and the weather more conducive to a major project.
“It is certainly disappointing,” Battle Ground Mayor Philip Johnson said at the time. “But we must be good stewards of the people’s money and council is confident that we are doing just that by going to bid and construction in 2017.”
In the meantime, City Manager Jeff Swanson contacted the offices of U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler for their assistance with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ process. Both Cantwell’s and Herrera Beutler’s staff facilitated a dialogue with the Corps to ensure the city’s permit application would be reviewed in a timely manner.
“We are so grateful to Sen. Cantwell and Rep. Herrera Beutler for their ongoing interest in and support of Battle Ground,” Swanson said. “They were incredibly responsive to our need.”
Now that the city has the permit, city engineers are moving forward and finalizing the timeline for construction. The city will advertise for bids in mid-January in order to begin construction in March of 2017. Construction will take approximately nine to 10 months to complete.
The South Parkway Improvement Project will address two distinct sections of the roadway — Section A, the southern end of the project from Eaton to Rasmussen boulevards and Section B, the northern end from Rasmussen to Main Street. Section A requires complete reconstruction of the roadway in order to remove and replace the road’s failing base.
New features will include sidewalks on the east side, ADA ramp upgrades, planter strips, bike lanes, lighting, a travel lane in each direction and a center left-turn lane. Construction activities will include stormwater facilities and an upgrade to the water and sewer utilities infrastructure. Section B, between Rasmussen and Main, requires less work with a process referred to as “mill and fill.” The first few inches of the roadway will be ground down and then a new layer of asphalt will be laid. Sidewalk ADA ramps will be upgraded and some utility work will be completed.
The $5.6 million project is fully funded with the majority of funding from two Washington State Transportation Improvement Board grants totaling $4.3 million. Funding sources include:
- Washington State Transportation Improvement Board Grants: $4,305216
- Battle Ground Traffic Impact Fees: $695,000
- Battle Ground Water Fund: $498,350
- Battle Ground Sewer Fund: $41,000
- Battle Ground Transportation Benefit District (TBD): $65,000