Whenever Robin Washington, a project manager with Clark County Public Works, is asked why the improvements on Northeast 119th Street are taking so long to build, she likens it to another large undertaking.“I ask people, ‘How do you eat an elephant?’” she said. “One bite at a time.”Now the county is finishing one bite and is starting on another as it continues its multiyear project to upgrade Northeast 119th Street from a two-lane country road with no sidewalks or bicycle lanes to an arterial intended to accommodate growing suburbanization.Washington said that McDonald Excavating, a Washougal-based contractor, is wrapping up work on a stretch of Northeast 119th Street between Northeast 50th Avenue and Northeast 72nd Avenue. Work between 72nd and Northeast 87th Avenue was completed last year, and now contractor Rotschy is launching a project from 87th to Northeast 112th Avenue. The county awarded the Vancouver-based company an $11.18 million contract, according to a news release.Clearing the wayWashington said that crews will be out clearing the roadsides and cutting trees in anticipation of upgrades. She also said that utilities will also have to clear pipes and poles that are in the way. She said the project will last two seasons and expects it to be finished in late 2019, according to a county news release.According to the news release, more than $50 million will be spent on the corridor. The county has been awarded two grants to help pay for construction: a $4 million state Urban Arterial Program grant through the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board and a $3.1 million federal Surface Transportation Program grant through the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council.