BPA making upgrades in Minnehaha

first_imgThe Bonneville Power Administration is building a new $20 million regional maintenance headquarters at its Ross Complex in the Minnehaha neighborhood.The project is meant to improve life for BPA employees and neighborhood residents, but there will be some disruptions in the near term.Because of the upgrade, commuters will face some lane closures around the area over the next two months.The new building will consolidate regional maintenance operations into a building that meets new seismic standards. Additionally, the facility will streamline utility crews’ maintenance routines and improve emergency response times.“Currently, our maintenance work groups are located in four different facilities across the footprint of the Ross Complex,” said BPA spokesman Kevin Wingert.“We recognize, too,” he said, “that there are potential impacts to nearby areas, particularly businesses and homes, from increased traffic. So we’re trying to reduce those impacts by constructing a new entrance and improving an existing one to reduce traffic flows through the 10th Avenue neighborhood.”According to Wingert, the maintenance facility consolidation in Vancouver is one of several happening around the region. The federal agency operates in parts of eight states.Two entrances, a roadIn addition to the building, the BPA plans to spend another $5.8 million on two entrances and a new road through the Ross Complex.Contractors working for the BPA are building a new entrance with a dedicated turn lane into the Ross Complex off Minnehaha Street near the Les Schwab Tire Center, just east of the current entrance on Northeast 10th Avenue. When it is finished, it’ll handle the majority of vehicle traffic for the facility, thus reducing traffic on 10th Avenue.Additionally, the BPA is making improvements to an existing facility entrance off of Northeast Minnehaha Street near St. James Road.On Tuesday, crews began the first steps in upgrading the entrance. The plan is to remove the curb on the south side of Minnehaha Street and widen the roadway to make room for new turn lanes, bike lanes, and sidewalks. A crosswalk will also be installed at the intersection.last_img