Design of this phase of the 18th Street Improvement Project (Segment 1B) is approximately 90 percent complete. In 2012, the City received a $2.8 million federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) grant to complete the right-of-way acquisition. The right-of-way phase is fully funded and estimated to be wrapped up in the spring of 2015.
Here's what is anticipated during the next three to four months:
Temporary construction permits and rights-of-way acquisition will be needed in locations where sidewalks will be installed and areas where the roadway will be widened. The City has retained the services of the local offices of HDR, Inc., to assist with the temporary construction permits and acquisition process, all in keeping with specific federal requirements of the grant funding. Owners of potentially impacted properties will have an HDR representative assigned to work directly with them throughout the process.
The cost of this segment, from Four Seasons Lane to Northeast 138th Avenue, is currently estimated at about $11 million, which includes completing the design and construction costs. The construction phase is fully funded using a combination of development contributions, traffic impact fees, bonds and federal grants. The City is planning to begin construction during early 2016.
As residential and commercial growth continues east and west of Interstate 205, Northeast 18th Street is becoming more congested. Without improvement, it will be unable to accommodate future traffic demands. The goal of the improvements is to provide a safe and efficient multi-modal east/west connection across the city, offer ready access to emergency facilities, and alleviate traffic congestion on nearby streets. These improvements will accommodate growth in the area over the next 20 years.
Note: The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is currently designing a new interchange at Interstate 205 and Northeast 18th Street that is scheduled to be completed in 2016. The new state interchange will make completing this segment of Northeast 18th Street even more critical.
This project presents some opportunities and unique challenges, including multiple layers of interests in right of way needed through the Bonneville Power Administration corridor. In addition to BPA ownership, there are also agricultural easements granted by BPA and private agreements between leasees and third parties.
Further east, a frontage road is proposed as an alternative to multiple driveways along the street and the safety and traffic problem of cars backing onto 18th Street. While the frontage road is expected to enhance safety and screen residents from arterial traffic, it also has raised Landover-Sharmel Neighborhood questions about potential affect of traffic at 126th Avenue, 129th Avenue, Village Green Drive and 134th Avenue. Although a traffic study has shown these intersections will operate acceptably for the next 20 years, the City has agreed to evaluate streets within the neighborhood, including Village Green Drive and 22nd Street, and install traffic calming and/or stop signs if warranted following the project.
Opportunities include new walkways and the addition of bicycle lanes to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety, provide ADA accessibility and enhance the neighborhoods.
Improvement of this corridor has been a regional priority for many years. Beginning in the late 1970s when it was part of unincorporated Clark County, Northeast 18th Street has been identified as a major east-west arterial from 87th to 192nd avenues. A multitude of studies have been conducted, from 1986 to 2013, and all have reinforced the need for a five-lane street system between I-205 and Northeast 138th Avenue.
Extensive public involvement was conducted from 2002 through 2010 during the environmental assessment and design of this project. The City's original project for the section from I-205 to 138th Avenue was split into two phases back in 2010 due to funding constraints. Communications continued during construction of Segment 1A - the first segment from I-205 to Four Seasons Lane - which was completed in late 2011.
Civil Designs are more than 90 percent complete for this next segment, from Four Seasons Lane to Northeast 138th Avenue. These can be viewed in the Supporting Document section below. The Design Guideline report for the entire Northeast 18th Street corridor is also available below.
The Washington State Department of Transportation has a project in this same area. Please click on the link for more details: I-205 - Mill Plain Interchange to NE 18th Street