Jefferson/Kauffman Realignment Project
The Jefferson/Kauffman Realignment Project aims to improve mobility, capacity and multi-modal connectivity.
Located in the western part of downtown Vancouver, West Jefferson Street and West Kauffman Avenue (Jefferson-Kauffman) work together as an important access corridor for freight, employment and travel from West Mill Plain Boulevard to the active downtown Vancouver, Crescent Industrial area near the Burlington Northern Railway mainline, and evolving Waterfront Redevelopment area.
In addition to improving mobility, capacity and multi-modal connectivity, the Jefferson/Kauffman Realignment Project is also expected to add redundancy and efficiency to the north/south arterial network in an area where potential for development is high, but existing transportation network options are limited.
This project will realign the intersection of Jefferson-Kauffman at West 13th Street, with the acquisition of right-of-way property on the northwest and southeast corners. That will allow the intersection to be reconstructed in a more conventional configuration that better accommodates truck/freight mobility and is safer for all modes of travel. View the proposed alignment.
When completed, the improved roadway will be a three-lane street based on City standards for collector/arterials. The project includes stormwater facilities, bike lanes, sidewalks, and on-street parking. The addition of pedestrian and bicycle crossing facilities at intersections will significantly enhance the multi-modal network in and through this area.
A key feature of the project is the continuation of the Waterfront multi-use trail along West Jefferson Street from the intersection at Jefferson/Evergreen streets to West 13th Street, and from there along the west side of West Markle Avenue to the multi-use path on the south side of West Mill Plain Boulevard. Existing bike lanes that now end at the intersection of W Jefferson/W Evergreen streets will be extended north along Jefferson, across West 13th Avenue, and along West Kauffman Avenue to connect to the existing bike lane facilities on West Mill Plain Boulevard.
The improvements noted above are identified as priorities in the City’s Transportation System Plan, Vancouver Central City Vision Plan, the Transportation Improvement Program, and the Westside Mobility Strategy.
Existing Street System
Jefferson-Kauffman currently functions as a minor arterial street within the City’s urban street network. It is the only north/south arterial street that connects West Mill Plain Boulevard to the Crescent Industrial area and Waterfront neighborhoods west of Columbia Street. The current configuration and outdated facilities of this two-lane roadway pose several limitations.
The Markle Avenue segment of the project lacks concrete curbs and sidewalks. It has unimproved gravel shoulders with head-in and parallel parking in front of single-family homes.
The existing off-set intersection limits truck/freight mobility for adjacent industrial uses. The discontinuous bike facilities limits broader use of this key north/south connection as a viable bicycle route.
The gap in the multi-use trail from West Mill Plain Boulevard to the Jefferson/Evergreen intersection discourages neighborhoods to the north from using this convenient route to the thriving and growing Waterfront Redevelopment area.
The Jefferson/Kauffman Realignment Project was identified as one of the high priority projects for the City of Vancouver’s Street Funding Strategy efforts, adopted by the City Council in 2015. Revenues provided by these resources are used to help provide local match for the City’s top transportation system needs.
In 2019, the City successfully secured a $1.84 million federal grant for this project through the Regional Transportation Council (RTC), using Street Funding Strategy revenues as a local match.
Using past Street Funding Strategy revenues, the City was able to set aside some dollars for the design and right of way acquisition of this project, at about the 50% level. Acquisition of right-of-way property and temporary construction easements are anticipated to start late 2020, after environmental approvals and land appraisals are completed. Prior to passage of I-976, the construction phase of this project was considered partially funded. The City will continue to evaluate funding impacts of the initiative on this and other transportation projects, as noted above. More information will be provided here as the effects on this project are determined.