The Road Maintenance and Engineering divisions are responsible for providing a safe, secure and convenient multi-modal system of roads and bridges with consideration for economic and community development, environmental conservation, and emergency preparation through efficient and effective administrative and maintenance programs. The division maintains the county’s 550 miles of paved and gravel roads as well as 93 bridges. Its territory ranges from nearly sea level to 2,000 feet. In addition to road maintenance, the division’s staff also oversees road signs, road striping, roadside vegetation, pothole repair, vehicle and equipment repair, and regulation and permitting. The division operates out of its office in St. Helens as well as from district shops in Clatskanie, Vernonia, and Rainier.
Overseeing the capital improvements and engineering for the County road system, the Public Works Department is responsible for transportation capital improvement projects. Funded mostly through grant funding and System Development Charges, engineering and planning activities coordinate utilizing Columbia County’s Transportation System Plan (TSP). This plan helps guide transportation improvement projects to meet the future system needs of the County. The plan works to complement each individual city TSPs to plan for growth and construct timely improvements within the communities of Columbia County.
The Solid Waste Division plans, organizes, and directs the county’s recycling, waste reduction, reuse, and household hazardous waste program. The Division also maintains, updates, and administers the county’s 20-year Solid Waste Management Plan and its Solid Waste Ordinance. Solid waste collection franchises within the unincorporated area of the County are also overseen by the Division, which also operates the Columbia County Transfer Station for collection and transport of garbage to area landfills.