Improvements to the southbound Gee Creek Rest Area off of Interstate 5 just before the Battle Ground exit began this week, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation, with the rest area closed through 5 p.m., Friday, as part of the first phase of work.

WSDOT announced the closure and improvements May 31. The closure began 6 a.m. June 3 and will allow work crews to fell trees in preparation for improvements.

The $2.2 million project will add a second recreational vehicle dump station and more RV parking, as explained by WSDOT Capital Facilities Project Manager Sam Leiren in the department release. Other improvements include added lighting, sidewalk and pavement improvements.

Battle Ground-based Tapani, Inc. is heading up the project for WSDOT, the release noted.

“These improvements will benefit folks who visit the Gee Creek Rest Area for years to come,” Leiren said in the release. The department estimated the rest area receives 800,000 visitors annually based on the number of toilet flushes at the facility.

Outside of this week’s closure, additional ones may be needed, the release noted, as well as the potential for a temporary shutdown of the existing RV dump station. Patrons are also likely to experience congestion at the rest area while work takes place.

— The Reflector

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