Infrastructure Improvements to Date:
- 2007/2008 received a grant of $300,000 (WSDOT rail emergent program).
- 2008/2009 received a grant of $1,100,000 (WSDOT rail emergent program).
- 2009/1010 received a grant of $1,366,800 (WSDOT rail emergent program).
- 2010 received $1,000,000 (Washington State Legislature - transportation budget through WSDOT rail division).
- 2010 received $9,100 from WUTC for production and installation of no trespassing signs.
WSDOT Rail Emergent Grant Program - The $2.366M grant from WSDOT is in place. The drainage project at MP 0.2 - MP 0.4 has been completed, by Nutter Construction. Bids have been received and awarded for the ballast, ties, rail, and rail accessories. A contractor has been chosen for the rehabilitation project over the first 14 miles of track, from Fruit Valley to Battle Ground. An official news release was released on Friday, August 13, 2010.
WUTC Grants - The grant for the no trespassing signs has been approved. The signs are waiting to be produced. Installation of the signs will take place between November 1, 2010 and January 31, 2011 by the Department of Natural Resources crews.
Clark County is still looking at applying for grants, through WUTC, for private and public regulatory crossing signs in 2011. This will update current regulatory signs and will put us in federal compliance for the new reflective sign requirements.
Business Outreach - Clark County is doing business outreach to businesses along the rail line as well as those not along the rail line, locally and regionally. The goal is to maintain and expand business in Clark County for economic development. Outreach is being done by Fred Abraham, Kelly Sills, and the respective commissioner of the district where the business resides within Clark County's jurisdiction. All outreach is coordinated with the jurisdictions and Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC).
199th Street Crossing - The City of Battle Ground will start the 199th Street/Eaton Blvd. crossing upgrade project on August 30, 2010 with completion by September 7, 2010. This is a combined project between the two jurisdictions. The upgrade will be a paving overlay during their summer work schedule, and a complete major upgrade of a new concrete grade crossing in place of the current asphalt crossing. There will also be one upgrade of a storm water culvert under 199th Street/Eaton Blvd. for better storm water flow south.
On Track Safety - All of the classes have been completed for On Track Safety. This training puts Clark County in compliance with the Federal Railroad Administration rules CFR 49 Part 214.
Grants/Appropriations - A new rail emergent grant request has been submitted to WSDOT - Rail Division. If Clark County is successful, we should be notified in late fall of 2010 or early winter of 2011. Implementation of the grant monies would be for the 2012-2013 biennium. The request was for $750,000.00.
Clark County Railroad is seeking a grant through EDA for a market study to develop a new rail yard between 78th and 88th Streets.
Zoning Overlay Concept - A series of meetings have been held with the City of Battle Ground, Port of Vancouver, and Clark County's Planning Commissions. Meeting have also been held with staff from the City of Battle Ground, Port of Vancouver, City of Vancouver, and Clark County. The consensus from the meetings are that it is a good idea and could be implemented in the near future for all jurisdictions.
Storm Water - The 199th Street project will partially address the storm water issue by replacing existing undersized culverts with larger culverts under the street. This is the first step in the process of moving the storm water more readily to a defined location south of 199th street. The water will be metered and eventually flow into Salmon Creek at no increased rate of flow. As of August 2010, the City of Battle Ground is preparing to seek a grant for storm water improvements for 199th Street. If successful, it would eliminate the storm water problems and would allow for development along the east side of the railroad tracks.
State Legislative Activity - 2011 Session - A "Rail Day" will also be held in Olympia for the beginning of the 2011 legislative session to update legislators.
Expansion Efforts - Currently Andersen Plastics has purchased property in Brush Prairie to expand their operations. They anticipate being up and running in late September or early October 2010.
Public Works property at 78th Street, east of the railroad tracks, is anticipated to go to auction for a rail served business in the near future.
Several inquires have been made to Clark County for potential shippers in recent weeks. It has been directly attributed to the continued improvements to the rail infrastructure and lower shipping costs by rail.