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

Board Approves $424 million Transportation Improvement Program
On October 5th, the RTC Board approved the 2022-2025 Transportation Improvement Program, which indicates a funding commitment for approximately $424 million in multimodal transportation investments over the next four years within the Clark County region. The TIP is developed cooperatively with all local agencies and list priority regionally significant transportation projects that will be funded over the next four years. The TIP describes each project and demonstrates funding commitment and schedule for delivery.
Board Awards $460,000 to Fund Active Transportation Improvements
On October 5th the RTC Board selected two projects within the Clark County region to receive $460,000 in regionally allocated federal transportation funds. Grants are awarded based on a competitive grant process. The Funds will be used to advance the following projects:
  • Port of Vancouver’s Renaissance Trail Segment 4 in year 2022 for design ($60,000). Construct a multi-modal path along the south side of Lower River Road (SR-501), between NW Gateway Avenue and NW Old Lower River Road.
  • Clark County’s Highway 99 Sidewalk project in year 2024 for construction ($400,000). This project will construct new raised concrete curb and sidewalk along the east side of Highway 99 and south side of NE 104th Street filling in a gap of missing sidewalk.
C-TRAN Building Region’s High Capacity Transit System
C-TRAN commences construction of The Vine bus rapid transit corridor on Mill Plain Blvd. In December 2008, the RTC Board of Directors endorsed the region’s first High Capacity Transit System plan, setting in motion the region’s investment strategy in high capacity transit. Since that time, the C-TRAN Board of Directors has completed construction of The Vine on Fourth Plain Blvd, authorized construction of the Mill Plain Blvd corridor, and RTC’s recent grant award will assist in planning for the final corridor planned for Hwy 99.
RTC’s Investment in Ridgefield’s Pioneer Street Rail Overpass
In 2013, RTC awarded $2 million in federal Transportation dollars to the Port of Ridgefield to help fund the Ridgefield Pioneer Street Rail Overpass project. These funds were combined with other local and federal funds to create a rail overpass that will provide safe access between downtown Ridgefield and the waterfront, which is separated by railroad tracks. Two at-grade rail crossings with safety concerns at Mill and Division Streets will be closed as part of the project. The project will also allow for the future development of the Port’s 41-acre waterfront developable parcel. The project is expected to be open to traffic before the end of September of 2021.
Board Awards $11.6 million to Fund Critical Transportation Projects
On September 7th the RTC Board selected 10 projects within the Clark County region to receive approximately $11.6 million in regionally allocated federal transportation funds. Grants are awarded through a competitive grant process, based on grant program eligibility. Transportation investment will be made over the next four years to improve state highways and county and city streets and for transit facilities. Construction funding will be provided on Highway 99 Bus Rapid Transit, NE 152nd Avenue, NE 18th Street, SW Eaton Boulevard, and NE 179th Street.
Board Selects Bike and Pedestrian Projects for Funding
On July 6, 2021, the RTC Board of Directors selected five bike and pedestrian projects within Clark County to receive approximately $1.6 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 Hazel Dell Avenue, Highway 99, Evergreen Highway (Vancouver), Pacific Highway (La Center), and Renaissance Trail (SR-501).
Interstate Bridge Replacement Project
The need to address the I-5 Corridor, including the interstate Bridge, has been identified through multiple planning efforts over the last several decades. Most recently the Columbia River Crossing Project (2005-2011) resulted in a preferred alternative, but did not secure adequate state funding to advance to construction. Beginning in 2019, the states of Oregon and Washington initiated efforts to restart work to replace the I-5 Interstate Bridge over the Columbia River. The Oregon and Washington State Departments of Transportation are leading this new effort to replace the I-5 Bridge with a modern, seismically resilient, multimodal structure. The commitment is to leverage work from previous efforts where feasible, utilizing current needs and values.
The Interstate Bridge Replacement Project is in the early stages of working with stakeholders and the public to identify needs and values which will become key components for screening alternatives to select a preferred alternative. Identified issues with the existing bridge include congestion, safety, earthquake vulnerability, impaired freight movement, inadequate bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and limited public transportation. The project is committed to a community-driven process with equity as a key component of the process and outcomes.
$53.6 Million in Federal Transportation Funding Advanced in 2020
RTC has published an annual report that summarizes how federal transportation funding was utilized within Clark County during calendar year 2020. Over the past year, agencies within Clark County worked to advance federally funded projects through various stages of development from planning, engineering and to construction. A total of $53.6 million in federal transportation dollars were utilized, with $9.8 million of the funds allocated through RTC Board of Directors.
2020 Annual Report on RTC’s Operations and Technology Program Now Available
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 2020 accomplishments and recurring, recent and upcoming activities of the program.
Assessing Smart Technologies for the Region
RTC, City of Vancouver, Clark County, C-TRAN, and WSDOT partnered to gather information and conduct a self-assessment regarding the region’s capabilities and readiness to adopt strategies and smart technologies for infrastructure in operating the region’s transportation networks. A benchmarking survey was fielded with RTC partners which were analyzed and compared to national peers, establishing a benchmark of regional awareness, readiness, and implementation of smart communities’ strategies. The study found that RTC’s regional partners benchmark in the middle of the pack when compared to national peers. Key study findings and recommendations suggest the region’s smart community investments, staff capacity and agency culture, and buy-in can be improved.
Regional Traffic Safety & Targets
The RTC Board of Directors is now reviewing an annual assessment of regional traffic safety data in support of state and federal performance planning and safety target setting. Regional trends, measured in 5-year rolling averages, show changes in collision trends across several categories. Primary contributing factors to regional collisions relate primarily to driving behavior; impaired driving, distraction and speeding are shown as major contributing factors to traffic collisions. Regional goal setting strives for reducing collisions, and supporting the State’s traffic safety goal of Target Zero.
Board Updates Public Participation Plan
The RTC Board of Directors completed a periodic update to the agency’s Public Participation Plan (PPP). RTC values engagement and input from regional agencies and stakeholders and strives to make its meetings, processes and documents accessible for public comment. Updates this cycle focused on revising the agency’s strategy for remote meetings and related project work. Agency and Public Comments are welcome on all RTC’s work programs, and may be directed to our Feedback page.
Board Endorses Key State Legislative Statement
The RTC Board of Directors joined with dozens of local agencies and regional stakeholders by endorsing the Clark County Transportation Alliance 2021 Policy Statement. The 2021 Policy Statement provides a consensus recommendation of regional project priorities and policy initiatives which support development of the regional transportation systems. The Policy Statement advocates for new and continued state funding of regional investments and ongoing programs.
2020 Annual Report
RTC published its annual report of key program activities and outcomes for year 2020. Key highlights of 2020 included the Board of Directors awarding of over $12 million in regional grant funding to fifteen priority regional investments, and adopting a 4-year investment program that will yield over $422 million in regional multi-modal investments. The report also highlights strategic planning initiatives completed in 2020, which included a performance audit to advance the region’s “smart” transportation technology investments and planning for upgrades to regional freeway corridors.
Board Awards $12.1 million to Fund Critical Transportation Projects
On October 6th, the RTC Board selected 15 projects to receive approximately $12.1 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, La Center, and unincorporated Clark County. Funding will also be used for transit, signal coordination, planning, and ramp meters. In addition to selecting grants, the RTC Board approved the 2021-2024 Transportation Improvement Program, which indicates a funding commitment for approximately $422 million in transportation investments over the next four years within the Clark County region.
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.

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.

Transit, tolls biggest issues in I-5 Bridge replacement project - October 5, 2021
Will Washington and Oregon be able to avoid the problems that plagued their last attempt to replace the Interstate 5 Bridge? Transportation officials are working diligently to ensure it happens. Roger Millar, Washington’s secretary of transportation, met recently with The Columbian Editorial Board to talk about the bridge replacement project and the future of transportation in Clark County. He was joined by Greg Johnson, program administrator for the Interstate Bridge Replacement project, and Carley Francis, Southwest region administrator for the Washington State Department of Transportation. “I think it’s going along very well. There are still questions and concerns. One thing we are telling everybody is this region cannot afford to let perfect be the enemy of good,” Johnson said. “We’re putting a lot of effort into community outreach and making sure that we are keeping people informed as we go along.”
Lawmakers review Interstate 5 Bridge progress - September 19, 2021
The bistate legislative committee of Oregon and Washington lawmakers overseeing the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program held its first meeting in four months on Friday, reviewing the project office’s progress over the summer. Friday’s meeting marks the start of a period in which the legislative committee plans to meet monthly, reflecting the rapid pace of planning. Program administrator Greg Johnson and the IBR staff began the meeting with a presentation similar to the one they gave to the project’s Executive Steering Group on Wednesday, outlining their projected time line, including the goal of settling on a single recommended bridge configuration in early 2022.
Group sets goal of recommending new Interstate 5 Bridge’s blueprint by January - September 15, 2021
The Interstate Bridge Replacement Program’s ambitious timetable calls for the bistate project’s office to produce a single recommended configuration for a replacement Interstate 5 Bridge in as little as four months, releasing the plan publicly in January. Officials from Vancouver, Portland, Metro and other regional governments and agencies generally appeared to be on board with the compressed schedule at a Wednesday morning meeting of the program’s Executive Steering Group, but several members urged the project staff to make sure the selection process remains comprehensive enough to avoid any surprise issues popping up later.
Oregon panel gives conditional OK to I-5 Rose Quarter freeway cover design - September 9, 2021
The Oregon Transportation Commission voted Thursday to give conditional approval to an updated design for the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project’s freeway cover component. The added conditions reflected skepticism expressed by multiple commissioners about whether the project would be able to obtain the estimated $400 million of additional funding that the new plan would require. The updated plan, referred to as “Hybrid 3,” was one of several options that the project office developed in conjunction with community groups and an outside consultant after the commission directed staff last year to take another look at the freeway cover plan and come up with new designs to provide greater restorative justice for the surrounding Albina neighborhood.
Ridgefield to celebrate Pioneer Street railroad overpass - September 1, 2021
Ridgefield residents won’t have to wait much longer to start using the new Pioneer Street railroad overpass. The $15 million project is wrapping up the final bits of construction and is targeted to open to traffic by the end of October. The last pieces of the security fence are about to be installed, according to Port of Ridgefield executive director Brent Grening. After that, the Washington State Department of Transportation and BNSF Railway will need to check the structure and sign off. “Once that’s done, it’s pretty much good to go,” he said.