Toxic algae advisories lifted at Camas lakes
Clark County Public Health lifted its toxic algae advisories at Lacamas and Round lakes in Camas this week, but said an advisory remains at Vancouver Lake.
Public health officials said Tuesday that the blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, identified last week at the Camas lakes, dissipated over the weekend and are no longer present at either lake.
The caution and warning signs posted at the lakes are being removed. However, officials warn that algae blooms may return as conditions change. Public Health encourages people swimming and recreating in the lakes to watch for floating blue-green-colored scum and avoid direct contact with water in those areas. The public can report algae blooms online at clark.wa.gov/public-health/report-health-concern.
While conditions improved in Camas, the warning remains in place at Vancouver Lake. Blue-green algae blooms are still present at the Burnt Bridge Creek inlet and at the flushing channel near the swim beach. Last week, test results revealed elevated levels of cyanotoxins in the water at Vancouver Lake. Health officials say cyanotoxins can be harmful to people, especially young children, and deadly for small pets that drink the water.
Public Health is advising people to avoid direct contact with all water in Vancouver Lake and recommend no swimming, water skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking or canoeing; not drinking lake water; keeping animals away from the water entirely; cleaning fish well and discarding organs; and avoiding areas of scum when using motorized boats.
Public Health staff collected water samples from Vancouver Lake on Monday to determine if toxins are still in the water. Public Health may downgrade the advisory at the lake from warning to caution if toxins are no longer present. As long as algae are present, toxin levels could increase as conditions at the lake change. Public Health has been monitoring cyanobacteria blooms at Vancouver Lake since June 12, and will continue to monitor the lake and take weekly water samples to test toxin levels as long as the blooms are present. Additional information about blue-green algae and current advisories are posted online at clark.wa.gov/public-health/public-beaches.
July 4 ramp closures on Highway 14, I-5
Travelers wishing to view the fireworks display at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site or other nearby destinations are encouraged to take an alternate route to avoid ramp closures on Interstate 5 (I-5) and state Route 14 (Highway 14) on Thursday, July 4.
In coordination with the city of Vancouver and the Washington State Patrol, the Washington State Department of Transportation will close the ramps to relieve congestion near Fort Vancouver and provide safe access to the site for pedestrians.
The northbound I-5 off-ramp to Mill Plain Boulevard will close from 6 p.m. to midnight, July 4. The eastbound and westbound Highway 14 off-ramps to Southeast Columbia House Boulevard will close from 9 p.m. until the end of the fireworks display on July 4.
Stopping, standing or parking on or along the shoulder on all state roads and highways is prohibited except when necessary and in compliance with the law.
Temporary roundabout on Highway 14 in Washougal begins Sunday
Travelers who use the intersection that joins state Route 14 (Highway 14) with 32nd Street in Washougal will soon shift to a temporary roundabout, as construction continues to build two new roundabouts on the highway.
Travelers should expect overnight delays on Sunday, July 7, as the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)’s contractor, Thompson Bros. Excavating, Inc., begins work to build a temporary roundabout.
WSDOT has said using a temporary roundabout will help minimize delays and keep traffic moving through the area during construction of the permanent roundabout, allowing Highway 14 to remain open while construction continues.
Travelers will alternate through a single lane with flaggers at the intersection of Highway 14 and 32nd Street between 7 p.m., Sunday, July 7 to 7 a.m., Monday, July 8.
Beginning at 7 a.m., Monday, July 8, all travelers within the intersection of Highway 14 and 32nd Street will be shifted to a temporary roundabout for approximately five weeks.
WSDOT notes that the construction work depends on the weather. Travelers can expect the following during the roundabout construction phase:
• The temporary roundabout will be clearly marked to guide traffic, using curbing, striping and pavement markers:
• the temporary roundabout will be constructed on the south side of Highway 14 and will be much smaller than the permanent roundabout to maximize the work area;
• once traffic is shifted to the temporary roundabout, permitted loads on Highway 14 will be able to travel through the roundabout to continue on the highway, but some turn restrictions will be in place;
• travelers turning right onto westbound Highway 14 from 32nd Street will have to yield to Highway 14 traffic; and
• a live construction camera will show travelers how traffic is flowing.
Real-time roadway and weather information is available via the WSDOT mobile app (https://app.oxblue.com/open/wsdot/sr14accessimprovements), by following the Southwest Region Twitter account (https://twitter.com/wsdot_sw) or by visiting the Southwest Region travel advisory page at wsdot.wa.gov/regions/southwest/construction/. For more information about the Highway 14 improvements in Washougal, visit wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR14/ac cessimprove/default.htm.
Vancouver Clinic to build near Camas
Vancouver Clinic recently announced plans to build a new clinic off Highway 14, just west of Camas.
“As we complete construction on our Ridgefield clinic, it’s time for us to look east as Clark County continues to grow,” Mark Mantei, Vancouver Clinic’s chief executive officer, stated in a press release. “We have served the Clark County community for over 80 years and we want to continue expanding our locations to provide the very best care close to where people live and work.”
The new clinic will join seven other Vancouver Clinic locations in Clark County, including one in Washougal and a new clinic opening Aug. 5 in Ridgefield. The location will be on 4.41 acres Vancouver Clinic recently purchased in the Columbia Palisades, located in east Vancouver near the Camas-Vancouver border.
“This new Columbia Palisades location has easy access to (Highway 14) and will allow us to expand access to primary care and add a new vision center,” Dr. Alfred Seekamp, Vancouver Clinic’s chief medical officer, stated in the press release. “We have a thriving vision center in Salmon Creek and our other locations simply do not have the room for expansion.”
Vancouver Clinic expects to break ground on the east Vancouver clinic later this year and open the site in 2021. According to the press release, the first phase will be two stories and include 26,400 square feet for urgent care, family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, ophthalmology, laboratory and imaging services. The second phase could add another 30,000 square feet of clinical space in the future.
For more information, visit tvc.org.