January’s opening of the 10th Avenue Bridge over Whipple Creek has created a new way for people to get to and from the Clark County Fair.
As of midafternoon Friday, the new route hadn’t created any major headaches for those directing traffic.
“At this point in time, we really haven’t noticed much,” said Mickey Webb, fair manager and CEO. “We are just letting people come down and make a left onto 179th Street.”
The new bridge is particularly helpful as traffic exits the fair, Webb said. Drivers can head north on Northeast Delfel Road to Northeast 179th Street or south on Northeast 10th Avenue to Northeast 139th Street.
Webb said the area could become overly congested if a huge number of vehicles use the 10th Avenue Bridge when heading to the fair.
“I would encourage people to do what they have always done and come in on 179th,” he said.
An even better alternative is taking C-Tran’s free shuttle, which provides nonstop service from six locations: three in the Greater Vancouver area, plus one in Battle Ground, La Center and Ridgefield.
Riding the C-Tran shuttle allows fairgoers to avoid the $6 parking fee (cash only) and provides coupons for a $1 discount on fair admission.
“C-Tran’s shuttle is a great option for getting to the fair,” Webb said. “On our busiest days, which are of course weekends, just be patient as you are coming in.”
Fairgoers shouldn’t get too accustomed to using the 10th Avenue Bridge. Clark County has a project to improve Northeast 10th Avenue, from Northeast 149th to Northeast 154th streets, that will require shutting down that section of 10th Avenue to all traffic.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2020 and take two seasons to complete.
Matt Hall, project management supervisor for Clark County Public Works, said that section of Northeast 10th Avenue might not be closed by the time the fair rolls around again Aug. 7, 2020.