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Regional Transportation Planning, Research, Investment Strategies, and Funding.

2019 Annual Report on RTC’s Operations and Technology Program

The program known as Vancouver Area Smart Trek (VAST) is a partnership of transportation agencies in the Clark County region established to improve transportation system operations and performance through the use of smart technology and the system and communications infrastructure needed to support it. The VAST agencies, made up of WSDOT, Clark County, City of Vancouver, C-TRAN, and RTC collaborate on signal systems, freeway and arterial management, traveler information, and transit signal priority projects. Investments on operational and technology projects have been a small, but effective part of the overall transportation funding program.
The annual report summarizes key 2019 accomplishments and recurring, recent and upcoming activities of the program.




Board Awards $14.2 million to Fund Critical Projects

On October 1, the RTC Board selected 15 projects to receive approximately $14.2 million in regionally allocated federal transportation funds. Projects will be programmed over the next four years, and include funding of transportation improvements in Cities of Vancouver, Camas, Battle Ground, and unincorporated Clark County. Funding will also be used for signal coordination, planning, and ramp meters.
In addition to selecting grants, the RTC Board approved the 2020-2023 Transportation Improvement Program, which indicates a funding commitment for approximately $343.8 million in regional transportation investments over the next four years within the Clark County region.



RTC’s Investment in Main Ave Pathway Taking Shape

In 2015, RTC awarded $148,000 in federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) to Clark County to help fund the Ridgefield Main Avenue Pathway connector project from downtown Ridgefield to the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge. These funds were combined with other local and federal funds to create a significant access and safety improvement project that is taking shape in the summer of 2019. When complete the improvement project will create a separated multi-use pathway and upgraded fish passages along Main Avenue, fostering much needed safety and access improvement into the Wildlife Refuge.



Board Selects Bike and Pedestrian Projects for Funding

On July 2, the RTC Board of Directors selected three bike and pedestrian projects within Clark and Skamania Counties to receive approximately $2.35 million in federal Transportation Alternatives funding. All were community based projects that expand travel choices, improve the travel experience, and enhance mobility and safety. The projects are along 1st Street in Stevenson, and NE 68th Street and Hazel Dell Avenue in Clark County.



Clark County RTP: 2019 Update Adopted

The RTC Board of Directors adopted a 2019 update to the Regional Transportation Plan for Clark County at its March 5 meeting. The RTP is the long-range, twenty-plus year, transportation plan required by federal and state governments as a pre-condition for receipt of federal and state transportation funding to this region. Adoption of the 2019 Plan concluded an almost two-year process during which Plan elements, such as regional transportation policies, demographic projections, and transportation projects and strategies, were reviewed and updated.



Clark County’s Aging Population has Important Transportation Needs

The Clark County Commission on Aging has published a report highlighting the results of a years long effort to identify the County’s needs and to highlight potential strategies for helping aging residents access mobility options. This effort was running concurrent with RTC’s study of the residents social service needs and access to transportation mobility. RTC’s Human Services Transportation Plan and project recommendations was approved by the RTC Board in November 2018. Clark County’s Commission on Aging is hosting a community summit on February 21 to share their report recommendations and to foster community dialogue regarding taking action. RTC is a co-sponsor to this event and will participate in the summit.



News Feed

Below are an assortment of recent news items related to or impacting local transportation issues.
Most of these stories were authored outside the agency, and will take you to a new page on (or PDF document from) an external site.


Clark Asks: Why not replace I-5 Bridge trunnion while traffic’s light?
– March 22, 2020

With people hunkered down at home because of COVID-19, wouldn’t now be a good time to replace the Interstate 5 Bridge’s cracked trunnion? The Oregon Department of Transportation confirmed that bridge traffic has declined since large sectors of the community – schools, businesses, stores, theaters, gyms, bars and restaurants not offering takeout, drive-through or delivery service – closed to limit the virus’s spread. That said, ODOT is sticking with the Sept. 12-20 schedule to close the northbound span and replace portions of the drawbridge’s lifting mechanism. The needed custom parts are being fabricated in Alabama and aren’t expected to arrive here until August.



Construction to begin on easing Mill Plain congestion near I-205
– February 25, 2020

Construction will start next month to improve traffic flow along one of the most heavily traveled streets in Vancouver. An average of 39,000 vehicles a day use the half-mile-long section of Mill Plain Boulevard near Interstate 205, from Northeast 104th Avenue east to Chkalov Drive. Last month, the Vancouver City Council awarded a $3.65 million contract to Rotschy Inc. of Vancouver to improve traffic flow and safety. The overall project, including design and right-of-way acquisition, is expected to cost $10.1 million.



Washington’s deadliest occupation? Driving
– February 18, 2020

The most dangerous thing to do at work in the state of Washington in 2018, according to statistics released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, was something most adults do just about every day – drive. Transportation incidents accounted for 34 percent of the 86 fatal occupational injuries suffered in the Evergreen State in 2018, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics press release. That number is actually a little bit lower than the national average of 40 percent transportation-related incidents.



Region braces for trunnion trauma
– February 13, 2020

For anyone obsessed with the upcoming closure of the Interstate 5 Bridge’s northbound span, set your countdown clock for 212 days. That’s how long until the span, which opened 103 years ago, shuts down for up to nine days, starting Sept. 12 and ending Sept. 20. The closure is to replace two trunnions, part of the drawbridge’s lifting mechanism that allows tall vessels to pass under the green structure. The work will replace sheaves, or wheels about 12 feet in diameter, sheave covers, cables and trunnions, which are axles 20 inches in diameter that help lift and lower the bridge.



Tolling on I-5, I-205 in Oregon ‘years away’
– February 5, 2020

Oregon is pushing ahead with plans to toll portions of Interstate 205 and Interstate 5 in the Portland area, but it would be years before any tolls are collected. The Oregon Department of Transportation says a two-year environmental study under federal law will begin this spring for tolling a portion of I-205 on or near the Abernethy Bridge over the Willamette River, between Oregon City and West Linn. Plans for tolling a 7-mile stretch of I-5 through Portland would have a much bigger effect on Clark County drivers. That tolling project is lagging 12 to 18 months behind the I-205 work, in part, because of the need to coordinate with proposed tolling on the Interstate 5 Bridge replacement project.



ODOT holds first tolling meeting of 2020; public welcome
– February 3, 2020

The Oregon Department of Transportation is moving ahead on required environmental work and further study of tolling along Interstates 5 and 205 in Portland. The first meeting of 2020 is 5:30 p.m. Monday, at the ODOT Region 1 headquarters, 123 N.W. Flanders St. The public is invited to attend.


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