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County uses modern signal technology to improve traffic flow, safety

Federal grants to pay more than half the cost for major upgrades in Hazel Dell area


Rob Klug, Public Works
Phone: (360) 397-6118 ext. 4356

Vancouver, WA The Board of County Commissioners recently agreed to seek contractor bids to improve traffic signal operations on Northeast 78th Street and Highway 99, both busy corridors in the Hazel Dell area.

When the work is done later this year, it will be the latest phase of an ongoing program, launched in 2010, to improve signal coordination and allow drivers to reach their destinations more quickly and safely. Construction will have only minor traffic impacts.

Work on Northeast 78th Street will be from Northwest Ninth Avenue east to Northeast St. Johns Road. On Highway 99, the work will be from Northeast Ross Street north to Northeast 117th Street.

The project includes installing new or modified signal controllers, traffic counting stations, Ethernet communication technology and cameras for monitoring traffic conditions and signal operations, all of which can help improve traffic flow.

With the improvements, the county can remotely adjust signal timing in response to accidents, construction and congestion. Signal optimization has environmental benefits, namely reduced emissions from vehicles idling at an accelerating from traffic signals and lower fuel consumption with less stop-and-go driving.

The Highway 99 project also will improve curb ramps at some intersections to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and modify the southwest corners at 78th Street and 99th Street to provide additional room for trucks making right turns.

The work is estimated to cost $3.35 million, with federal grants covering 57 percent of the cost and the County Road Fund paying the rest.

The county already has completed traffic signal projects on several corridors, including:
Northeast 134th-139th Street in Salmon Creek.
Northeast Andresen Road and Padden Parkway.
Northeast 99th Street, east and west of Interstate 5.

A separate project to improve the remaining traffic signals in the Hazel Dell and Felida areas is expected to be built in 2014.

Clark County is scheduled to wrap up its overall traffic signal optimization program at the end of 2015.

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