Vancouver’s Columbia Street paving project starts Monday

The actual paving of Columbia Street, from Mill Plain Boulevard north, is currently expected to begin the week of June 28 and be completed about mid-July

A city of Vancouver project to pave Columbia Street, Mill Plain Boulevard to 45th Street, will get underway the week of June 21, weather permitting.

A city of Vancouver project to pave Columbia Street, Mill Plain Boulevard to 45th Street, will get underway the week of June 21, weather permitting.

The city’s contractor, Granite Construction of Vancouver, will begin the project by removing the existing traffic circle at 24th Street, repairing the underlying road base where needed, and grinding off the top few inches of existing pavement along Columbia Street.

Typically, paving with hot mix asphalt follows about three to seven days after grinding. In the interim, people will be able to drive on Columbia Street, but should be prepared to slow down on the rough surface. People traveling on motorcycles and bicycles should plan ahead and take a different route if at all possible.

The actual paving of Columbia Street, from Mill Plain Boulevard north, is currently expected to begin the week of June 28 and be completed about mid-July, weather and construction conditions permitting. After paving, six speed tables will be installed at various locations along the project corridor to help calm and slow traffic on Columbia Street.

Construction hours are generally 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, but may be extended to 8 p.m. and/or include weekends if needed.

Message boards will be posted to alert travelers to construction activity. Lane changes and closures can be expected where work is occurring, along with detours and delays. No parking signs will be posted along Columbia Street at least 24 hours in advance of coming pavement work. Vehicles left on the street where parking is posted as prohibited will be towed at the owner’s expense. 

The paving project on Columbia Street, Mill Plain Boulevard to 45th Street, is part of the city’s 2021 Pavement Management Program. This year’s program also includes microsurfacing of Columbia Street from Mill Plain Boulevard south to Columbia Way. Ongoing updates about these Columbia Street construction activities are being shared through a variety of city communications channels and posted on the city of Vancouver’s website at www.cityofvancouver.us/ColumbiaStreet.

After paving and microsurfacing are completed, Columbia Street will be restriped to separate bike lanes and driving lanes in keeping with the city’s Mobility Project, approved in early 2020 to provide a safe, usable north-south westside bike route for all ages. On-street parking will be removed from both sides of Columbia Street north of Mill Plain Boulevard. South of Mill Plain, the Mobility Project will result in the removal of about 160 parking spaces, while preserving on-street parking adjacent to the Veterans Assistance Center and providing a dedicated loading zone. 

Installation of other Mobility Project features will follow. These include low-profile bike/vehicle lane separators, traffic signal improvements that allow pedestrians more time to cross key intersections, more visible ladder-style crosswalks, new streetlights, and more.

As part of the Mobility Project, the city will be offering technical assistance for impacted residents seeking to create off-street parking on their properties. City staff will also develop a pilot program to provide nearby designated ADA parking spaces for eligible, directly impacted residents for use with an ADA parking permit. Information about the Mobility Project is available at www.cityofvancouver.us/bikemobility. Questions about that project can be emailed to westsidemobility@cityofvancouver.us.

Vancouver’s Pavement Management Program is investing about $10.5 million in improving pavement conditions throughout the community in 2021. Approximately 30 neighborhoods in the city will see some type of pavement management work this summer. 

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

Information, schedules and a map of citywide pavement projects for 2021 is available through the Pavement Management Program webpage at www.cityofvancouver.us/pavement. Schedules are subject to change, depending upon weather and construction conditions and materials.

Information provided by city of Vancouver.

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