SE First Street Improvement Project
Construction is finished on the first phase of a long-awaited project to upgrade and provide urban standards for Southeast 1st (First Street), originally a rural two-lane, farm-to-market roadway.
This City of Vancouver project provides a complete urban street system with sidewalks, bike facilities, stormwater bio-retention, streetlights and sound walls where required. The project enhances safety, increases capacity, improves the road surface and increases connectivity for homeowners, employees and businesses along the corridor.
The entire Southeast 1st Street Project reaches from 162nd Avenue to 192nd Avenue. Using traffic volumes now and projected 20 years into the future, the proposed design envisioned a three-lane street, with one lane in each direction and a center turn lane. Near the intersection of 164th Avenue, the design provides for a widened street with a right-turn lane and dual left-turn lanes. Southeast 1st Street at 192nd Avenue is currently six lanes and would remain that way under the current design.
This overall project from 162nd Avenue to 192nd Avenue is being done in two phases.
First Phase, 164th Avenue to 177th Avenue
Construction started in early January 2022 and was competed in 2023. Construction of this first segment was realized with funding from federal grants awarded through the RTC, an earlier state TIB grant, and matching local funds provided by the City’s Street Funding Strategy revenues.
- View general design of project from 162nd Avenue to about 170th Avenue
- View general design of project from 170th Avenue to 177th Avenue
- View design cross section showing mobility improvements planned behind the curb with extra space for sidewalk and bike lane amenities
Second phase, 177th Avenue to 192nd Avenue
This eastern phase of the project has been under design as part of overall development agreements of adjacent private property. State and federal funding are being allocated for this project, including a TIB grant. The $2 million TIB grant will support construction of this segment, which is currently not anticipated to begin until about 2024, depending upon having full construction funding.
Federal funding requires all right-of-way acquisition strictly comply with laws/regulations that provide for uniform and equitable treatment for persons whose property is acquired for public use.
To best utilize resources, City efforts to date have been primarily focused on the segment of First Street from 162nd Avenue to 177th Avenue. The City continues to seek funding to complete the full corridor of this high-priority project.
Design and environmental work for this project has received funding of $1.6 million in federal grants and about $700,000 in matching City funds. Award of the federal grants was through the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC), under the federal Surface Transportation Program. In addition, RTC awarded the project another $1.9 million to assist with construction. In December 2018, an additional $3 million grant was also awarded to the project by the state Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) to help fund construction of the western segment of the project, between Southeast 164th and 177th avenues.
The City was awarded a $2 million Urban Arterial Program grant by the state Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) to help fund construction of Southeast 1st Street improvements between Southeast 177th Avenue and 192nd Avenue.
The City continues to seek grants and other opportunities to fully fund construction of the eastern segment of the 1st Street Improvement Project.
Vancouver’s six-year Transportation Improvement Program anticipates utilizing some Street Funding Strategy revenues as leverage or match to secure additional grants for construction.
Project Public Information and Input
In late September 2021, postcards were sent out widely through the corridor to inform local residents and businesses about the coming construction on the first segment of the project, from 162nd Avenue to 177th Avenue. As the project advances, the City will be providing updates on this webpage, on Public Works’ social media channels and on Nextdoor, as well as through the city and county’s neighborhood outreach efforts. In addition, adjacent properties will receive direct communications at key points during the project.
Stakeholder interviews with some key adjacent properties were conducted early on in the design process of this project. Two open house gatherings, one specifically for Cascade Estates residents and one for the general public, were held in August and September 2015. Proposed design maps shown at the open house can be found below. Summaries of this public involvement to date can be found here:
- General Public Open House Summary – Sept. 1, 2015
- Cascade Estates Open House Summary – Aug. 26, 2015
The Southeast 1st 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, adopted by the Vancouver City Council. It also has been identified as a priority improvement in the Section 30 Subarea Plan (2009).