C-TRAN breaks ground on Mill Plain BRT

Sept. 29, 2021
The 10-mile project will be the second BRT route added to The Vine service and will connect downtown Vancouver, Wash., to Clark College’s Columbia Tech Center campus.

Clark County Public Transportation Benefit Area (C-TRAN) held a groundbreaking ceremony Sept. 28 for the second route of its bus rapid transit (BRT) service, The Vine, with the help of federal officials.

The groundbreaking, which took place on the east end of the project corridor, follows last Friday’s news the Mill Plain BRT Project had been awarded $24.9 million through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grants Program. C-TRAIN CEO Shawn M. Donaghy, Vancouver Mayor and C-TRAN Board Chair Anne McEnerny-Ogle, Clark College President Dr. Karin Edwards were among local leaders who were joined by FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez at the event.

“This new line will create so many connections for people, helping them get to schools, healthcare, recreational venues and much more between downtown Vancouver and the city’s eastern neighborhoods,” said FTA Administrator Fernandez. “FTA is proud to support our partners at C-TRAN as they expand The Vine bus rapid transit service along Mill Plain in Vancouver.”

The 10-mile corridor will connect downtown Vancouver, Wash., and Clark College’s Columbia Tech Center campus running primarily along Mill Plain Boulevard, which is one of C-TRAN’s busiest corridors. C-TRAN explains BRT will bring faster, more reliable transit service to the corridor and will use larger vehicles, include enhanced stations with real-time information displays and other features to improve the experience for riders and allow for future growth.

The Mill Plain BRT will be the second route for The Vine service, which opened in 2017 with The Vine on Fourth Plain.

“This is an incredible milestone for our community and our region,” said Donaghy. “We’re grateful to the FTA and other partners who have helped make the Mill Plain BRT Project a reality. We’re excited to get to work on building our second bus rapid transit corridor. This sets the stage for continued forward progress for public transportation in Clark County, including a third, future BRT corridor on Highway 99.”

The project includes 37 new stations along the Mill Plain corridor, plus a new Mill Plain Transit Center on the east end of the alignment near 184th Avenue. On the west end, the Mill Plain service will share the existing Turtle Place station now used by The Vine in downtown Vancouver. Mill Plain BRT will replace C-TRAN’s Route 37, which now serves the Mill Plain corridor.

Construction on the new transit center is scheduled to begin later this fall; work on the corridor stations will begin in January. The primary contractor on the project is Tapani Inc. of Battle Ground.

Bus rapid transit service on Mill Plain is expected to begin in 2023.

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