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

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.
Major Regional Roadway Connection Completed
Clark County is nearing completion of significant regional transportation system project on NE 10th Ave. When opened for traffic, the corridor will serve as a parallel arterial roadway route, serving local business and residential development growth planned for the Salmon Creek and Fairgrounds / NE 179th interchange areas. RTC was a funding partner to a series of projects in the NE 10th Ave corridor. RTC granted $1 million in seed funding to get the bridge design started on NE 10th Avenue over Whipple Creek (154th St. to 164th St). Design funds were obligated in 2013. RTC granted $1,840,000 for construction, for a total of $2.84 million for the bridge project. In addition, RTC granted $2.46 million on NE 10th Avenue for improvements between NE 141st St. and 149th St. (previously constructed and opened to traffic).
WSDOT Selects Regional Mobility Grants
The Washington State Department of Transportation recently recommended that the Legislature fund one project in Clark County and one project in Klickitat County for a total of $5.22 million in Washington State Regional Mobility Grants. C-TRAN would receive $4.9 million to design and construct an I-5 southbound Bus on Shoulder project from NE 99th Street to the Interstate Bridge. MATS in Klickitat County will receive continuing funding of $320,000 to provide express fixed route service to improve connectivity between counties in the Columbia Gorge Region in both Washington and Oregon.
WSDOT Recommends Pedestrian and Bicycle Grants
The Washington State Department of Transportation recently recommended that the Legislature fund two pedestrian and bicycle projects in the City of Vancouver. Under the Pedestrian and Bicycle Program, the City of Vancouver would receive $489,000 to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety on Devine Road. Under the Safe Routes to School Program, the City of Vancouver would receive $500,000 to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety in the Northwest Vancouver neighborhood.
Transportation Improvement Board Grants Awarded
The Washington State TIB funds high priority transportation projects in communities throughout the state to enhance the movement of people, goods, and services. The City of Vancouver was awarded $3 million for transportation improvements on SE 1st Street, from SE 164th Ave. to SE 177th Ave. In addition, a total of $445,152 was awarded between Goldendale, White Salmon, and Stevenson to restore road surface at multiple locations.
Skamania Regional Transportation Plan Adopted
The RTC Board adopted a 2018 update to the RTP for Skamania County at its November 6 meeting. The RTP is the long-range, twenty-year, transportation plan. Adoption of the 2018 Plan concluded a year-long process during which Plan elements, such demographic projections and transportation improvements and strategies, were reviewed and updated. The region’s highest priority transportation improvements include enhancement of SR-14 near Cape Horn, SR-14 intersection improvements at Bridge of the Gods and Hot Spring Way, and rockfall protection.
Klickitat Regional Transportation Plan Adopted
The RTC Board adopted a 2018 update to the RTP for Klickitat County at its November 6 meeting. The RTP is the long-range, twenty-year, transportation plan. Adoption of the 2018 Plan concluded a year-long process during which Plan elements, such demographic projections and transportation improvements and strategies, were reviewed and updated. The region’s highest priority transportation improvements include replacement of the Hood River Bridge, All-Weather County Roads, and SR-14 in downtown Bingen.
Human Services Transportation Plan Updated
The 2018 update to the HSTP for Clark, Skamania and Klickitat counties was recently completed. The intent of the HSTP is to identify the special transportation needs of people with disabilities, low income, the young, the elderly, and those in rural areas who cannot provide transportation for themselves.
RTC Board Awards $7.6 million to Fund Critical Transportation Projects
On October 2, the RTC Board selected 7 projects to receive approximately $7.6 million in regionally allocated federal transportation funds. Projects will be programmed in 2022, and include funding for arterial improvements along 137th Ave., NE 99th St., and Grace Avenue. Funding will also be used for Bus Rapid Transit along Mill Plain Blvd. In addition to selecting grants, the RTC Board approved the 2019-2022 Transportation Improvement Program, which indicates a funding commitment for approximately $332 million in regional transportation investments over the next four years within Clark County.
Transportation Council Backs Replacement for I-5 Bridge
The Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council Board of Directors passed a resolution supporting the replacement of the Interstate 5 Bridge with high-capacity transit with a dedicated guideway. The resolution, which was passed during the RTC’s meeting Tuesday evening, cites the crossing’s significance to the Vancouver-Portland metro area, the I-5 corridor, the West Coast and the nation, as well as the crippling traffic congestion it’s plagued with.

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.

Comments sought on $343.8 million transportation program - September 3, 2019
Interested in knowing what major transportation projects are scheduled to be built in Clark County during the next four years? The Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council is seeking public comments on a draft $343.8 million transportation improvement program. The Regional Transportation Council develops the four-year program through a coordinated process with local cities, Clark County, the Washington State Department of Transportation and C-Tran. The entire 142-page draft document can be found online.
Oregon kicks in $9 million for I-5 Bridge replacement - August 16, 2019
Oregon has provided $9 million toward operating an office to replace the Interstate 5 Bridge. The Oregon Transportation Commission, meeting Friday in Ashland, Ore., increased a proposed $5 million contribution to underscore the project’s importance and to come closer to the Washington Legislature’s $35 million contribution earlier this year. “I just want to make sure we are sending a message of interest and moving forward on this,” said Bob Van Brocklin, vice chairman of the five-member commission. “And not just a message to our partner state, but a message to our citizenry that we recognize this a major piece, a major element, of congestion relief.”
Oregon appoints eight to I-5 Bridge panel - August 14, 2019
Oregon is revving up efforts on the south side of the Columbia River to replace the Interstate 5 Bridge. Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney and Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek announced Wednesday they have appointed eight legislators to an I-5 Bridge committee. “That thing needs to be fixed,” Courtney, D-Salem, said in a phone interview. “I just want to get it done. … That bridge is in very bad shape, whether it’s earthquakes you are talking about or the volume of traffic.” Courtney said replacing the bridge “is so overdue” and “we don’t have time to play cutesy political games.” “If you lose that bridge, we don’t know what suffering is,” he said about an earthquake toppling the twin spans, which were built in 1917 and 1958. “We are going to be in a world of hurt.”
Ridgefield project to make it safer for pedestrians to access wildlife refuge, downtown - August 10, 2019
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge visitors have walked along winding Main Avenue in a ditch for years to reach the Carty Unit entrance, but that ditch will disappear in the next two months. Worked started this summer on the Ridgefield Main Avenue Access Improvements Project, a joint project between the refuge, city, Clark County and Federal Highway Administration to make it easier to get from downtown Ridgefield to the refuge. The project, expected to cost between $3 million and $5 million, will create dedicated bicycle and pedestrian access to the refuge from existing sidewalks near the Ridgefield city limits. It is being funded primarily by the Federal Highway Administration, which will contribute a bit more than $3.1 million. Other contributions for the project also came from the city, county and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pacific Region.
Highway 500 reconfiguration passes 6-month crash test - August 8, 2019
Preliminary numbers indicate nearly a 90-percent drop in vehicle crashes after the Washington State Department of Transportation removed two traffic signals on state Highway 500. The data support WSDOT’s decision to remove signals at Falk Road/42nd Avenue and Stapleton Road/54th Avenue and exceed the 70 percent expected reduction in crashes that state officials used prior to the traffic changes. There were 396 reported crashes at or near the two locations during a five-year period that ended Aug. 31. That’s an average of about 40 crashes in six months or slightly more than one crash every five days. During the first six months after the traffic signals were removed, through May, there were only four reported crashes at the same locations.
$1.7 million awarded for Northeast 68th Street sidewalk - July 21, 2019
Clark County’s plans to build a sidewalk along Northeast 68th Street in Hazel Dell have received a $1.7 million boost from the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council. The council’s board of directors earlier this month selected the project, plus another proposed sidewalk improvement in Hazel Dell and a third project in Skamania County, to receive funds through the federal transportation alternatives program. Building a sidewalk on Northeast 68th Street has been a longtime priority for area residents and the Northeast Hazel Dell Neighborhood Association.