A long-awaited project to upgrade and provide urban standards for Southeast First Street, constructed as a rural two-lane roadway, is in its beginning stages. The project will upgrade the existing rural road to a three-lane/five-lane principal arterial, based on available roadway width and traffic needs, with one or two lanes in each direction, plus a turn lane. This upgrade will include sidewalks, bike facilities, street lights and sound walls where required.
In November of 2013, the City began the process of design and necessary environmental work. This work continues today, and as things progress, the City will be reaching out to neighbors adjacent to and nearby the First Street corridor to gather input and provide information about the project and design options. Please watch for additional information to be posted on the City's website and provided to nearby neighborhood associations.
The City of Vancouver has received two federal grants, a total of $1.6 million, for project design and limited rights-of-way acquisition. The City's local match for the project to date is $700,000.
Right-of-way acquisition is partially funded and will begin following completion of the environmental work. The remainder of right-of-way acquisition and construction are not yet funded. Total cost of the project, which is identified as a priority improvement in the Section 30 Subarea Plan (2009), is currently estimated at about $16.3 million.
This improvement project will enhance safety, increase capacity and provide much needed urban upgrades for this arterial street.
The Southeast First Street Improvement Project was identified and listed in the City's annual Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) since the area was annexed to Vancouver. It continues as part of the City's most recent TIP for 2014-2019, adopted by the Vancouver City Council in 2013.