Vancouver gears up for busy season of paving and preserving streets in 2021


Multiple miles of roadway, ADA upgrades and tree maintenance all in the plan

VANCOUVER — Preparations are underway at the city of Vancouver’s Pavement Management Program for a busy season of paving and preserving streets in 2021.

This year’s program will include paving eight lane miles, including portions of Garrison Road, Columbia Street, Broadway Street, 5th Street and 1st Street. Photo by Jacob Granneman
This year’s program will include paving eight lane miles, including portions of Garrison Road, Columbia Street, Broadway Street, 5th Street and 1st Street. Photo by Jacob Granneman

This year’s Vancouver’s Pavement Management Program will invest approximately $10.5 million in improving pavement conditions throughout the community. Approximately 30 neighborhoods in the city will see some type of pavement management work this summer, thanks in part to the restored support of the city’s Transportation Benefit District (TBD) license fees.

This year’s program will include paving eight lane miles, including portions of Garrison Road, Columbia Street, Broadway Street, 5th Street and 1st Street. To get the maximum stretch out of available resources, the pavement program will join forces with city utility projects for repaving of Garrison Road and of Broadway Street, from  McLoughlin Boulevard to 13th Street. 

Paving of Columbia Street, from Mill Plain Boulevard north to 45th Street, will precede the coming Westside Mobility Project. In addition, 14 lane miles of residential streets currently in poor or failed condition will be resurfaced in Shumway, Rose Village, West Minnehaha, Central Park, Northwood, Vancouver Heights, Lewis and Clark Woods neighborhoods.

Pavement preservation work –- which includes microsurfacing, slurry seal, asphalt rubber chip seal, and cape seal treatments -– is another big component of the city’s annual Pavement Management Program. 

Preservation work alternates between east and west Vancouver. For 2021, 55 lane miles of streets in West Vancouver will see some type of preservation used to protect and extend the life of the street. That includes the south portion of Columbia Street, which will be microsurfaced from Mill Plain Boulevard to Columbia Way in advance of the Westside Mobility Project.

Curb ramps at approximately 150 locations along the various project routes will be upgraded to current standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to improve accessibility and mobility for all. 

Federal requirements mandate that curb ramps be upgraded to current ADA-compliant standards along streets receiving treatments that are considered an alteration, such as paving or cape sealing. In areas where ADA-compliant ramps exist, no changes are required.

Several steps can be expected before work begins on the street, starting with trimming of trees and vegetation by a city contractor with a certified arborist on board, clearing the way for coming construction equipment. Pavement repairs, sealing of cracks, and construction of ADA ramps will also take place prior to paving and preservation work.

Pavement preservation work –- which includes microsurfacing, slurry seal, asphalt rubber chip seal, and cape seal treatments -– is another big component of the program. Photo by Jacob Granneman
Pavement preservation work –- which includes microsurfacing, slurry seal, asphalt rubber chip seal, and cape seal treatments -– is another big component of the program. Photo by Jacob Granneman

Throughout the process, residents and businesses along the project corridors will receive notices with details about work hours, parking restrictions, closures and more. The public is also encouraged to watch for signage and flaggers during construction, alerting travelers to slow down and be prepared for brief delays ahead. 

The City’s website and social media channels will also be used to keep the community informed by providing ongoing updates as information becomes available.

There are more than 1,900 lane miles of paved streets in Vancouver. Each year, streets are evaluated to determine the most cost-effective methods to extend pavement life and provide better driving conditions. When streets begin to fail, they usually fail quickly and the cost to repair them increases dramatically. Keeping good streets in good condition often provides the most cost-effective and efficient use of available resources.

Since its adoption by the city council in 2015, Vancouver’s Street Funding Strategy has provided additional funding to steadily improve overall pavement conditions citywide and reverse what had been a trend of deterioration. 

Transportation Benefit District fees, a substantial part of that funding strategy, were temporarily halted following November 2019 voter approval of Initiative 976, which sought to limit license fees. 

As a result of that reduced funding, the city’s 2020 Pavement Management Program was reduced in scope and no paving occurred. A statewide court decision has since overturned the measure, restoring the city’s pavement program to full strength for 2021.

More information about Vancouver Public Works’ 2021 Pavement Management Program is available online at www.cityofvancouver.us/pavement. To go directly to the map of 2021 pavement projects, click here.

Tentative schedules will be posted on the Pavement Management website in advance of street work. Pavement work is highly weather dependent, and schedules are subject to change. You can watch for Vancouver Public Works construction alerts posted on Nextdoor, Twitter and on Facebook.

Information provided by the city of Vancouver.

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