State Route 501 marker

State Route 501
Erwin O. Rieger Memorial Highway
The existing highway is highlighted in red. The proposed completion is shown in dashed purple.
Route information
Auxiliary route of I-5
Defined by RCW 47.17.640
Maintained by WSDOT
Length13.97 mi[2] (22.48 km)
Existed1964[1]–present
Southern section
Length11.00 mi[2] (17.70 km)
South end I-5 in Vancouver
North endRidgefield NWR near Vancouver
Northern section
Length2.97 mi[2] (4.78 km)
West endMain Street in Ridgefield
East end I-5 in Ridgefield
Location
CountiesClark
Highway system
SR 500SR 502

State Route 501 (SR 501, designated as the Erwin O. Rieger Memorial Highway) is a 13.97-mile-long (22.48 km) state highway in the southern part of the U.S. state of Washington. It is split into two sections in Clark County, a north–south alignment connecting Interstate 5 (I-5) in Vancouver to the Port of Vancouver and the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, and a west–east alignment connecting Ridgefield to I-5. Prior to the 1964 highway renumbering, SR 501 was designated as Secondary State Highway 1T (SSH 1T), established in 1937 and re-aligned to serve the Port of Vancouver in 1963.

Route description

Southern section

The southern terminus of SR 501 at an interchange with I-5 in Downtown Vancouver

The 11.00-mile-long (17.70 km) southern section of SR 501 and the Erwin O. Rieger Memorial Highway begins as the four-lane Mill Plain Boulevard at a diamond interchange with I-5 in Downtown Vancouver.[2][3] The highway travels west through Downtown Vancouver and splits into a one-way pair on Mill Plain Boulevard and 15th Street before rejoining as Mill Plain Boulevard.[4][5] SR 501 crosses a BNSF rail yard and enters the Port of Vancouver, becoming the Lower River Road and narrowing to a two-lane highway on the south side of Vancouver Lake.[6][7][8] The highway follows the Columbia and Lake rivers north past the Shillapoo Wildlife Recreation Area,[9][10] ending south of Post Office Lake in the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.[11][12]

Every year, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) conducts a series of surveys on its highways in the state to measure traffic volume. This is expressed in terms of average annual daily traffic (AADT), which is a measure of traffic volume for any average day of the year. In 2011, WSDOT calculated that the busiest section of SR 501 overall was west of I-5 at C Street, serving 13,000 vehicles, while the least busiest section of SR 501 overall was south of Shillapoo Wildlife Recreation Area, serving 650 vehicles.[13] Between I-5 and the Port of Vancouver, SR 501 is designated as part of WSDOT's Highway of Statewide Significance,[14] which include interstate highways and other principal arterials that are needed to connect major communities in the state of Washington.[15]

Northern section

Looking east at the intersections of Main Avenue and Pioneer Street (SR 501) in Downtown Ridgefield

The 2.97-mile-long (4.78 km) northern section of SR 501 within Ridgefield begins as Pioneer Street at an intersection with Main Avenue at the Ridgefield City Hall.[2][16] The highway travels east through Downtown Ridgefield, passing View Ridge Middle School, before crossing over Gee Creek.[17][18] SR 501 continues east through two roundabouts, at 45th Avenue and 56th Place, before ending at a diamond interchange with I-5.[19][20]

Every year, WSDOT conducts a series of surveys on its highways in the state to measure traffic volume. This is expressed in terms of AADT, which is a measure of traffic volume for any average day of the year. In 2011, WSDOT calculated that the busiest section of the northern section was the I-5 interchange, serving 11,000 vehicles, while the least busiest section was the intersection with Main Street in Downtown Ridgefield, serving 3,200 vehicles.[13]

History

SSH 1T was created in 1937 during the formation of the primary and secondary state highways,[21] traveling on a 18.86-mile-long (30.35 km) route north from Primary State Highway 1 (PSH 1) and U.S. Route 99 (US 99) in Vancouver through Felida and Ridgefield to PSH 1 and US 99 at Pioneer.[22][23] The highway was extended into Vancouver in the 1950s[24] and re-aligned in 1963 to serve the Port of Vancouver, traveling along the Columbia River to Ridgefield west of Vancouver Lake onto a roadway that was to be constructed.[25] The state highway commission realigned the highway onto a pair of one-way streets within Vancouver in late 1968.[26] The first section of the Columbia River section was completed in 1969, but the remainder never left the design phase.[27] SSH 1T became SR 501 during the 1964 highway renumbering and codified as such in 1970,[28][29] being designated as the Erwin O. Rieger Memorial Highway in 1991.[30] In the late 1990s, Mill Plain Boulevard was extended west from downtown Vancouver to the industrial area west of the railyard to serve the Port of Vancouver. The $35 million project was dedicated on September 30, 2000, and incorporated into SR 501.[31]

The section of the highway between the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge and the city of Ridgefield has never been constructed and remains as a physical gap in the state highway system.[32] The interchange between I-5 and SR 501 east of Ridgefield was rebuilt by WSDOT between 2010 and 2012, adding roundabouts at intersections west and east of the interchange as well.[33] On July 14, 2015, WSDOT permanently closed the northern 1 13-mile-long (2.1 km) of SR 501's southern section due to the Columbia River reclaiming the highway.[34] That part of the highway was relinquished to Clark County in 2016.[35] Eventually, that section was vacated to surrounding property owners.[35]

Major intersections

The entire highway is in Clark County.

Locationmi[2]kmDestinationsNotes
Vancouver0.00–
0.05
0.00–
0.080
I-5 – Portland, SeattleI-5 exit 1C; interchange.
11.0017.70Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
Gap in route
Ridgefield11.0017.70Main Avenue
13.88–
13.97
22.34–
22.48
I-5 – Portland, SeattleI-5 exit 14; interchange.
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References

  1. ^ "47.17.640: State route No. 501 — Erwin O. Rieger Memorial Highway.", Revised Code of Washington, Washington State Legislature, 1970; revised 1984, 1991, retrieved February 10, 2013 Check date values in: |year= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Staff (2012), State Highway Log: Planning Report 2011, SR 2 to SR 971 (PDF), Washington State Department of Transportation, pp. 1482–1487, retrieved February 10, 2013
  3. ^ SR 5 - Exit 1C: Junction SR 501/Mill Plain Blvd (PDF), Washington State Department of Transportation, May 25, 2011, retrieved February 10, 2013
  4. ^ SR 501: Junction SR 501 CO VANCVR (PDF), Washington State Department of Transportation, October 3, 2004, retrieved February 10, 2013
  5. ^ "Feature Detail Report for: Vancouver", Geographic Names Information System, United States Geological Survey, September 10, 1979, retrieved February 10, 2013
  6. ^ 2011 Washington State Rail System (PDF) (Map). Washington State Department of Transportation. January 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  7. ^ "Feature Detail Report for: Port of Vancouver", Geographic Names Information System, United States Geological Survey, September 10, 1979, retrieved February 10, 2013
  8. ^ "Feature Detail Report for: Vancouver Lake", Geographic Names Information System, United States Geological Survey, September 10, 1979, retrieved February 10, 2013
  9. ^ "Feature Detail Report for: Shillapoo Wildlife Recreation Area", Geographic Names Information System, United States Geological Survey, May 1, 1991, retrieved February 10, 2013
  10. ^ "Feature Detail Report for: Lake River", Geographic Names Information System, United States Geological Survey, September 10, 1979, retrieved February 10, 2013
  11. ^ "Feature Detail Report for: Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge", Geographic Names Information System, United States Geological Survey, September 10, 1979, retrieved February 10, 2013
  12. ^ Google (February 10, 2013). "State Route 501" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  13. ^ a b Staff (2011), 2011 Annual Traffic Report (PDF), Washington State Department of Transportation, pp. 184–185, retrieved February 10, 2013
  14. ^ Transportation Commission List of Highways of Statewide Significance (PDF), Washington State Transportation Commission, July 26, 2009, retrieved February 10, 2013
  15. ^ Lorenzo, Judy, Highways of Statewide Significance, Washington State Department of Transportation, retrieved February 10, 2013
  16. ^ "Feature Detail Report for: Ridgefield", Geographic Names Information System, United States Geological Survey, September 10, 1979, retrieved February 10, 2013
  17. ^ "Feature Detail Report for: View Ridge Middle School", Geographic Names Information System, United States Geological Survey, December 31, 1992, retrieved February 10, 2013
  18. ^ "Feature Detail Report for: Gee Creek", Geographic Names Information System, United States Geological Survey, September 10, 1979, retrieved February 10, 2013
  19. ^ SR 5 - Exit 14: Junction SR 501/Pioneer Street (PDF), Washington State Department of Transportation, May 24, 2011, retrieved February 10, 2013
  20. ^ Google (February 10, 2013). "State Route 501" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  21. ^ Washington State Legislature (March 18, 1937), "Chapter 207: Classification of Public Highways", Session Laws of the State of Washington, Session Laws of the State of Washington (1937 ed.), Olympia, Washington: Washington State Legislature, p. 997, retrieved February 10, 2013, (s) Secondary State Highway No. 1T; beginning at Vancouver on Primary State Highway No. 1, thence in a northerly direction by the most feasible route by way of Sara to Ridgefield, thence in an easterly direction by the most feasible route to a junction with Primary State Highway No. 1 in the vicinity south of LaCenter.
  22. ^ Staff (1960), Annual Traffic Report, 1960 (PDF), Washington State Highway Commission, Department of Highways, p. 161, retrieved February 10, 2013
  23. ^ Vancouver, 1949 (JPG) (Map). 1:250,000. United States Geological Survey. 1949. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  24. ^ https://www.newspapers.com/clip/24415055/ssh_1t_extension_in_vancouver/
  25. ^ Washington State Legislature (1963), "Extended Session 3", Session Laws of the State of Washington, Session Laws of the State of Washington (1963 ed.), Olympia, Washington: Washington State Legislature
  26. ^ https://cdm16977.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16977coll1/id/5469/rec/1
  27. ^ "What's up with that? Highway will continue its journey to nowhere". The Columbian. September 2, 2009. Archived from the original on August 20, 2018. Retrieved August 19, 2018 – via HighBeam.
  28. ^ Prahl, C. G. (December 1, 1965), Identification of State Highways (PDF), Washington State Highway Commission, Department of Highways, retrieved February 7, 2013
  29. ^ Vancouver, 1967 (JPG) (Map). 1:250,000. United States Geological Survey. 1967. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  30. ^ Washington State Legislature (May 9, 1991), "Chapter 78: House Bill 1946 - Erwin O. Rieger Memorial Highway", Session Laws of the State of Washington, Session Laws of the State of Washington (1991 ed.), Olympia, Washington: Washington State Legislature, retrieved February 10, 2013
  31. ^ Ryll, Thomas (September 30, 2000). "Engine of change: Mill Plain extension bridge opens". The Columbian. Archived from the original on August 20, 2018. Retrieved August 19, 2018 – via HighBeam.
  32. ^ Washington State Highways, 2011–2012 (PDF) (Map). 1:842,000. Washington State Department of Transportation. 2011. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  33. ^ Tams, Chris (October 2012), I-5 - SR 501 Ridgefield Interchange - Complete October 2012, Washington State Department of Transportation, retrieved February 10, 2013
  34. ^ Hewitt, Scott (July 12, 2015). "Far segment of Lower River Road closes to cars Tuesday". The Columbian. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  35. ^ a b Hewitt, Scott (July 12, 2017). "Dead end really the end for Lower River Road". The Columbian. Retrieved July 18, 2017.

External links

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata
  • Highways of Washington State