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US 2 RDP Segment 4: East Gold Bar to East Skykomish

Segment 4 Map

Overview

US 2 between Gold Bar and Skykomish is a rural two-lane highway with a speed limit of 60 mph, which is characterized by sharp curves and narrow shoulders. Unlike other segments, the communities here (Index and Skykomish) are not built directly adjacent to the highway.

What are some of the problems facing the communities within this segment?

Heavy Weekend Through Traffic:
Traffic through the cities of Index and Skykomish is largely affected by weekend through traffic to Steven’s Pass. For example, an average of 6,500 vehicles travel through Skykomish each day during the week. That number increases during the weekend to 17,500 vehicles per day.

Collision Rates January 1999 - October 2006:

  • 403 collisions occurred between East Gold Bar and Skykomish.
  • 13 percent of these collisions involved vehicles crossing over into oncoming traffic.
  • 11 percent of these collisions were congestion related rear-end collisions.
  • 43 percent of these collisions involved vehicles colliding with fixed objects on the side of the roadway.

What did we hear from the public?

Members of the public have expressed concern about the number of head-on collisions and poor visibility along this stretch of highway. Many asked for increased enforcement to reduce reckless driving and intersection improvements to enhance safety when merging onto US 2. 

“The highway is too dangerous and should be improved, but too little emphasis is put on enforcement.”

“We see too many head-on collisions.  We need barriers in the short-term and a wider highway in the long-term.”

What are the safety and congestion improvements listed for US 2 between Gold Bar and Skykomish?

  • Gold Bar to Skykomish, MP 30.3 - MP 50 - Add median rumble strips.
  • Gold Bar to Skykomish, MP 30.3 - MP 50 - Add traffic cameras and electronic message signs to provide real-time traffic information to drivers. 
  • Gold Bar, Green Water Meadow Road MP 30.6 - Eastbound and westbound left-turn lanes.
  • Gold Bar, MP 31.26 - 31.73 - Add left-turn lanes.
  • East Gold Bar, MP 32.23 - MP 32.96 - Re-stripe passing lanes.
  • East Gold Bar/West Index, MP 35.1 - MP 35.62 - Realign and widen eastbound and westbound bridge approaches.
  • Index, MP 35.45 - MP 35.55 - Install warning signs alongside westbound lanes for an upcoming sharp turn.
  • Index, MP 35.35 - MP 35.62 - Eliminate driveway access, install edge line rumble strips.
  • Index, MP 35.95 - MP 36.4 - Construct eastbound truck climbing lane.
  • East of Index, MP 38.5 - Improve slope on shoulder and improve drainage.
  • West of Skykomish, Money Creek, MP 45.9 - Add westbound left-turn lanes.
  • West of Skykomish, MP 48.7 - 49.5 - Widen and pave shoulders, install raised walkway, and relocate guardrail.
  • Skykomish, Beckler Road, MP 49.51- Add westbound left-turn lane.
  • Skykomish, Old Cascade Highway, MP 49.98 - Add left-turn lane for westbound traffic.
  • Skykomish, MP 49.8 - MP 50.2 - Add a two-way left-turn lane.
  • Gold Bar to Skykomish, MP 30.3 - MP 50 - Widen shoulders, install shoulder rumble strips, and other roadside safety improvements (such as guardrail).
  • Gold Bar to Skykomish, MP 30.3 - MP 50 - Widen, replace, or upgrade 26 bridges.
  • Index, Index-Galena Road, MP 35.62 - Add a right-turn lane, westbound on US 2.
  • Index Area, MP 41 - 43 - Widen the highway to four lanes to allow for passing vehicles.
  • Skykomish, 5th Street, MP 48.71 - Install a roundabout.