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North Central Region NewsBrief


June 24, 2016

In this issue:

·        On the Road

o  Sellar Bridge Cleaning

o  Fixes for 4 corners & Soap Lake

·        Behind the Curtain

o  Face to face

o  A visit from the Secretary

·        Olympia

o  Salvaging road kill

·        Survey

o   Traveling forthe 4th?

On the Road 

Sellar Bridge cleaning this weekend

 Sellar Bridge 2015

Expect congestion and delays Saturday and Sunday on the Senator George Sellar Bridge.  Bridge cleaning will close the loop ramp from Wenatchee Avenue, and two of the three eastbound lanes plus the pedestrian bridge on Saturday. (Westbound will stay two lanes and pedestrians will be directed to the pipeline bridge). On Sunday, only one westbound lane and one eastbound lane will be available. Expect temporary stop signs at the ramp from southbound Sunset Hwy.and northbound (from Grant Rd.) There will also be temporary lane shifts on the bridge deck, both east and westbound.

Our advice is to use the Odabashian Bridge between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m., and avoid Sellar entirely. 

Grand Coulee Speed-Check Sign

Two solar powered, electronic speed-check signs have been installed in Grand Coulee at the intersection of SR 155 and 174.  These signs were placed to reduce the number of T-bone collisions by alerting drivers of their speed well before they enter the intersection. 

Since their installation in April, the new signs have initially to be effective.  We will be continuing to monitor the intersection to determine how effectively the signs reduce collisions.  Using solar panels to power the LED lights has also proven to be a cost effective alternative and the signs have been operating without any issues.

Speed limits

About a week from now, the 60 to 45 MPH speed limit zone on SR 17 north of the Soap Lake City Park will be a third of a mile longer. Residents asked the speed be reduced sooner for southbound traffic to reduce truck deceleration noise (Jake brakes) in front of their homes and safety concerns for pedestrians getting to the park or the bus stop.

WSDOT headquarters traffic office approved the change with the blessing of the State Patrol last Wednesday. We’re letting the City of Soap Lake, the Police department and WSP know that the 45 MPH signs will be relocated by the end of next week. We’re planning on having the radar speed trailer out there until after July 4th

One more

At the US 2 Stevens Summit the summer speed limit on the electronic variable speed limit signs has been reduced to 45. The reason for the decrease is traffic associated with summer recreation activities such as users accessing the Pacific Crest Trail and other trails as well as guests at the ski area’s bike park.

Orange cones:

Check I-90 blasting closure schedules & construction underway on Snoqualmie Pass.

Visit our Region Construction Update page for details on other projects.

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Behind the Curtain

Speakers Bureau is busy

Assistant Region Administrator Dave Bierschbach and Assistant Project Engineer David Kieninger were luncheon guests of the Eastmont Kiwanis meeting last Thursday at the Country Inn.  The main topic of discussion was the 5th Street Intersection improvements scheduled for next summer.  David made a presentation on the project,discussed the roundabout preferred alternative. Dave also spoke on other upcoming local projects including the 9th Street roundabouts at Sunset Highway and at Valley Mall Parkway scheduled for 2018.  The presentation was well received and the club members had good questions creating a constructive dialog.

We look forward to the opportunity to meet with groups face to face.  If your group would like a visit from WSDOT, we’ll be there.

A visit from the boss

Acting Transportation Secretary Roger Millar was in Wenatchee on Monday and Tuesday.  While he has been in the area before, this was his first official visit in this role.While here, he toured the planned area projects funded by the 2015 Legislature as part of the Connecting Washington funding package and spent some time with the region employees.

Millar joined WSDOT as Deputy Secretary last October. He was asked to step up by the Governor when Lynn Peterson left earlier this year.

Background-wise, he is an engineer, with a long career in transportation.

He shared with the staff his immediate priorities which support both the Governor’s Results Washington` effort and the Results WSDOT strategic plan for the future.

He also fielded questions from employees ranging from compensation to mega projects.

This first visit left a positive first impression.


Roadkill is now free game

Thanks to an April policy decision by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, Washingtonians can now stop and pick up roadkill and eat it if they want to.

A week from now (July 1) it will no longer be illegal to salvage dead animals from Washington roads, except Cowlitz, Wahkiakum and Clark County’s federally endangered Columbian white-tailed deer.

Provisions of the new rule include a number of safety clauses and permitting requirements.

To acquire a salvage permit or learn more about the rules,visit the WDFW webpage.

The change may have a minimal effect on WSDOT’s maintenance operations.


When holiday’s come, our focus is keeping traffic moving. One tool we created is the holiday travel graphs we post on our website.  They show what the historical travel volumes are for the coming holiday to help travelers miss delays from getting caught in backups they might have avoided had they been on the road earlier, later or taken another route.

Question one is“Did you use the travel graphs for Memorial Day?”

Question two is“Do you plan to use them for the 4th?”

Feel free to include how you feel about them – Do they work for you? Which corridors do you use most? When would you like to see them posted?

Click Here for the survey

Until next week,

Dan Sarles

Regional Administrator, WSDOT North Central Region

If you have any questions on items in this NewsBrief, or other transportation issues, please let me know. Call me at (509) 667-3001 or send me an e-mail at: 

NewsBriefs are the result of the efforts of my Leadership Team:

Leadership Team