The City of Ridgefield is excited to announce that we will be receiving a $5.812 million grant from the USDOT for the Pioneer Street Extension Project. The project will expand and extend Pioneer Street east to a new roundabout that will then extend south to S 5th St.
“The Pioneer Street Extension Project will create over 8,000 jobs, attract higher levels of private investment to underutilized land, provide access to Clark College’s new campus and increase efficiency and safety of vehicle and truck freight.” Mayor Don Stose
The project will provide a connection from I-5 to existing freight dependent business in the Union Ridge Business Park, unlock 822 acres of underutilized employment land, create thousands of family-wage jobs, provide access to the new Advanced Manufacturing Center at Clark College’s Boschman Farms and improve freight and traffic mobility and safety in the Ridgefield Junction. Additionally, the City will partner with the Port of Ridgefield to lay fiber conduit that will allow for simple and efficient deployment of broadband once tenants are established.
Thank you to Congresswoman Herrera Beutler and our Congressional delegation for their critical role in securing federal funding for the project.
What is the purpose of the project?
This $7.512 million investment will significantly improve Ridgefield’s economic development capacity. It will provide increased access to 822 acres and yield 640 acres for future development. At full build out over a 20-plus year timeline, it’s anticipated the development would house roughly 8,600 full time jobs, $585 million in private sector investment and over 6.4 million square feet of developed space while increasing freight mobility and safety. Thus, this single project could nearly meet the community’s 2035 employment target of 8,708 new jobs.
The project will also address a significant safety issue in the Ridgefield Junction. Currently, the area’s vehicle and freight traffic must use S 65th Avenue and S 5th Street to access the underutilized Union Ridge business park and future home of Clark College at Boschma Farms, two roads that are not designed for high volume or freight traffic. The existing roads are failing from the heavy truck traffic and their narrow width forces trucks to use a portion of the oncoming lane when navigating the corner between S 65th and S 5th, creating a dangerous environment for travelers. Linking the 65th roundabout and I-5 Junction, creating a major arterial road will significantly increase public safety and while reducing the costs accrued from accidents around the I-5 Junction.
Finally, the City will partner with the Port of Ridgefield to deploy dark fiber to the Ridgefield Junction. During construction, the City will lay fiber conduit that would allow for simple and efficient deployment of broadband once tenants are established. This dark fiber optic infrastructure will promote world-class, high performance economic development in the Ridgefield Junction.
Existing business in the Ridgefield Junction demonstrates the attractiveness of the location and services. Business in the Junction mostly fall into the industrial or services sectors. Together, wholesale trade and manufacturing account for over 30% of all businesses in the Junction.
These are also the subarea’s largest employers, including United Natural Foods, Inc. (specialty food distribution), Pacific Power Group (industrial machinery/equipment), Dollar Tree Stores (warehousing and distribution), Elkhart Plastics, Inc (industrial plastics), Corwin Beverage Co. (commercial beverages). To ensure these important business stay in the area, we need to upgrade the access points to I-5 and reduce the congestion and wait times putting strain on delivery logistics.
One-third of Clark County’s labor force, over 50,000 workers, commutes to Portland on a daily basis, while only 11,000 commute in the opposite direction. There are significantly more workers in Clark County than available jobs, with 174,905 residents and 123,100 total jobs, resulting in net outward migration. Ridgefield workers exemplify this pattern, with approximately half of all residents employed within Clark County but only 6.1% employed within Ridgefield itself.
The Pioneer Street East Extension Project has been identified as the best way to immediately open Ridgefield for business. Completion of the project will attract high levels of private investment,creating family-wage jobs and jobs in fields where Ridgefield residents are already employed, in an effort to increase the number of employees who both live and work in Ridgefield.
Contact Bryan Kast, City of Ridgefield Public Works Director at Bryan.Kast@ci.ridgefield.wa.us or (360) 887-8251.