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

Improving Reliability and Safety on Clark County Freeways
The Urban Freeway Corridor Operations Study analyzed near term operational and system management improvements that could serve to make the transportation system operate more efficiently and predictably. The strategies include approaches to get the most out of the existing system with low cost capital improvements and technology-based traffic management tools to optimize the flow of traffic and maximize available capacity. RTC led the study in partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation, Clark County, the City of Vancouver and C-TRAN. The Study is now complete and consists of a tiered set of strategy recommendations with detailed information sheets on the relative benefits to operations, safety and cost for each strategy.
2019 Monitoring Report Indicates Continued Congestion
The 2019 Congestion Monitoring Report indicates that the pace of regional growth slowed in 2019, with continued congestion at key corridors and intersections. The region did experience a continuation of the 5-year trend of modest degradation of evening roadway speed performance. The major hot spot continues to be access to the I-5 and I-205 Columbia River bridges during peak hours. The region will move forward in 2020 with I-5 southbound active traffic management and bus on shoulder improvements to address congestion and safety in this critical corridor.
Agency Response to COVID-19 OutbreakStay Home. Limit Travel. Save Lives.
COVID-19 is having a serious impact on our community and around the world. In accordance with Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-28, and out of concern for the health and safety of our staff, our colleagues, and the public we serve, RTC will follow the public meeting guidelines established to minimize spread of the novel coronavirus. Until further notice, meetings deemed essential will be held virtually, with a minimum of on-site personnel present. Public access will be provided online. Please contact your meeting organizer to confirm plans for meetings you’d planned to attend.
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.

Interstate 5 Bridge lane closures about to begin - August 14, 2020
Nighttime lane closures will begin next week on the Interstate 5 Bridge, according to a press release from the Oregon Department of Transportation, in preparation for the planned trunnion replacement project in September. Drivers should expect to encounter delays due to one- or two-lane closures Monday through Thursday nights in both directions of Interstate 5. Single-lane closures will begin at 8 p.m. and crews could close a second lane starting at 10 p.m. All lanes will reopen by 5 a.m. the following morning. The trunnion replacement project is scheduled to close the bridge’s northbound span to all traffic Sept. 12-20. Northbound and southbound traffic will both use the three-lane southbound span during the closure, with the central lane serving as a reversible rush hour lane.
Crews raise Highway 14 in Washougal as part of work to restore Steigerwald floodplain - August 12, 2020
Work is well underway on the Steigerwald Reconnection Project, and motorists on state Highway 14 in Washougal can expect to encounter occasional delays as they pass through the project’s highway construction area. The project aims to restore 965 acres of floodplain habitat in the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge by removing a 2.2-mile section of the existing levee that cuts the area off from the Columbia River, and restoring the natural flow path of Gibbons Creek. The existing Gibbons Creek diversion path and fish ladder will be removed.
Lane closures on Highway 99 and Northeast 99th Street - August 10, 2020
Drivers along the intersection of Northeast 99th Street and Highway 99 can expect intermittent lane closures. Construction began on Monday, Aug. 3, and is expected to be completed in November. Due to high traffic volumes and the complexity of the contracted work, drivers and pedestrians can expect impacts during construction.
Committee hears processes for outreach, financial planning in I-5 bridge replacement - August 9, 2020
Legislators on both sides of the Columbia River continued talks on how to replace the Interstate 5 bridge during the latest replacement committee meeting. On Aug. 6, members of the Joint Oregon-Washington Legislative Action Committee had their second remote meeting of the year, laying the groundwork for processes to eventually lead to a project concept. Among discussion topics, legislators were tasked with seeing if transportation problems previously identified had already been addressed, and if there were new problems that needed to be considered. Issues identified in the past included seismic vulnerability, limited public transportation, impaired freight movement, inadequate bicycle and pedestrian facilities, safety concerns based on existing roadway, and growing travel demand and congestion.
Trunnion, sheaves for September repair of Interstate 5 Bridge span arrive - August 5, 2020
The Interstate 5 Bridge trunnion replacement project won’t begin in earnest until September, but preliminary work is already underway at the site, including the Tuesday morning arrival of a barge carrying the new sheaves, trunnion and other replacement components for the bridge’s lift system. The northbound span of the bridge will close to all traffic Sept. 12-20 while contractors swap out the old parts for the new ones and perform other repairs. The primary impetus for the $13 million project is a crack in the existing trunnion at the top of the bridge’s south tower. The trunnion is like an axle between the two sheave wheels that move the bridge cables. The crack was discovered in 1999 and has been continuously monitored since then, according to Oregon Department of Transportation spokesperson Don Hamilton. It began to spread more quickly in the past two years, which means the trunnion needs to be replaced to ensure the long-term health of the bridge, he said.
Stretch of Interstate 5 in Clark County to temporarily close as summer road projects begin - July 22, 2020
A roughly five-mile stretch of Interstate 5 in Clark County is scheduled to close in both directions beginning 11 p.m. Friday while crews install an overhead sign bridge. The freeway is scheduled to reopen at 6 a.m. Saturday. The sign bridge is part of a new active traffic management system WSDOT is installing along southbound I-5 through the Vancouver area in an effort to ease congestion during the morning rush hour and increase traffic safety.
Pollution from vehicles down in Clark County, but outdoor burning rises - June 25, 2020
The cloud of COVID-19 comes with a thin silver lining: air pollution usually caused by commuting vehicles is down in major metropolitan areas, due to more people staying home. But in Clark County, the full picture is a little more complicated. Our region hasn’t seen pollution drop as significantly. In fact, according to various metrics monitored by the Southwest Washington Clean Air Agency, there hasn’t been much change at all – although emissions from cars are down, other kinds of pollutants, like those that come from wood burning, are up.