Truckers Drive Circles Around WSDOT Engineers
March 30, 2007
Truckers drove circles around WSDOT engineers last Friday as part of a design-test for a roundabout to be built in Skagit County, just east of Mt. Vernon. The roundabout was a carbon-copy of the roundabout we will build this summer at the intersection of SR 9 and SR 538. Participants included school bus drivers from Mount Vernon and Sedro Woolley, emergency responders from Skagit County and semi-truck drivers from around the region. Drivers gave the roundabout a thumbs-up, and many truckers, who were originally concerned the roundabout would be too small, were pleasantly surprised.
Earlier in the week, survey crews meticulously marked out the roundabout’s exact dimensions, and then maintenance personnel assisted in chalking the lane markings and laying down sandbags in the parking lot of the Bow Hill weigh station on I-5.
During the Friday test-drive, traffic engineers boarded each vehicle and talked with drivers as they ran the course to give them directions and advice, as well as to solicit their views. Traffic engineer Phil Rust was one of the engineers that climbed aboard buses and semi’s all day and felt that letting drivers get a hands-on feel for the size and shape made the mock roundabout a worth while project.
“Many drivers aren’t sure about
them at first” said Rust. “But once they get the chance to drive it and see first-hand how easily they can navigate it with large trucks, they are confident that it is big enough.”
Traffic and congestion continue to increase at the SR 9 and SR 538 intersection, and a new 800-home development will be built nearby. The roundabout will help move more drivers safely and efficiently through the intersection for years to come.
The project is 100 percent developer funded. The developer will pay for, design and build the roundabout under our direction and guidance. During construction, we will oversee the project to ensure it meets WSDOT standards for quality, safety and environmental controls.
How to drive a single-lane roundabout
- As you approach a roundabout, there will be a yield sign. (Watch for bikes and pedestrians), slow down and be prepared to stop.
- As you enter, yield to circulating traffic on the left, but you don't need to stop if the way is clear.
- Large trucks should feel free to use the raised area around the center island, it's called a truck apron and is designed to support large trucks.Stay to the right of the center island.
- Upon passing the street prior to your desired exit, turn on your right turn signal.
- Make your turn.