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SR 20 - Sharpes Corner Vicinity - Interchange

Status

May 2016

  • In July 2015, this project received funding from the state Legislature as part of the Connecting Washington transportation package.
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Overview
The Sharpes Corner intersection experiences significant congestion, especially during the busy summer tourist season. Lengthy backups can extend out into 50 mph traffic, which increases the risk of high-speed, rear-end collisions.

We designed improvements for the SR 20 Sharpes Corner intersection near Anacortes before the project was shut down in 2009 when the funding was cut. Funding for design and construction was approved by the Legislature in July 2015 as part of the Connecting Washington Revenue Package.

Based on the previous analysis and design work, the plan called for a roundabout at the busy intersection to help improve safety and relieve congestion. Because it has been several years since engineers have worked on this project, we need a new analysis to determine if a roundabout is still the best solution or if another design option should be considered. The new funding reflects a slightly different project that includes the Miller-Gibralter Road intersection, based largely on feedback we received during the original project.

Why is WSDOT improving the Sharpes Corner intersection?
SR 20 is the only direct land access to the city of Oak Harbor, the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station and the rest of Whidbey Island. The SR 20 spur is the primary access to Anacortes and ferry service to the San Juan Islands and Vancouver, B.C. As a result, the intersection of these two roadways has significant regional importance.

On average, more than 30,000 vehicles pass through the Sharpes Corner intersection every day, creating heavy traffic congestion. Backups can be severe and increase the chance of collisions. Traffic turning west toward Whidbey Island often backs up beyond the turn lane, leaving vehicles stopped on the highway, increasing the chance of rear-end collisions.

We’ve also heard from many of you that bike/pedestrian improvements are important, and we are looking into ways to incorporate bike/pedestrian elements into the final design.

The End Result
Improving this intersection and the surrounding area will improve traffic flow and will help reduce the frequency and severity of collisions.

Project Benefits

  • Safety: Improvements to these intersections will increase traffic flow and decreases the risk of rear-end collisions, making the roadway safer for drivers. Bicycle and pedestrian improvements will increase safety and mobility in the area. 
  • Congestion relief: Drivers will see significant increases in roadway capacity and traffic flow. This means shorter drive times and less time sitting in traffic.
  • Non-motorized improvements: A multi-use path and additional crosswalks will be added in the area at designated facilities at Marches Point Road for pedestrians and cyclists. Additional signs will be added to increase safety.
  • Environment: We will make improvements to stormwater culverts and detention ponds where necessary to meet current WSDOT environmental standards.

What is the project timeline?
Fall 2017: Advertise project for competitive bidding.
Summer 2018: Estimated construction start date.
Fall 2019: Scheduled construction completion date.

Financial Information

The Washington State Legislature allocated $13.4 million to construct this project as part of the 2015 Connecting Washington package.

How can I get more information?
Contact:
Marqise Allen 
WSDOT communications
15700 Dayton Ave. N.
Shoreline, WA 98133
Phone: 206-440-4699
E-mail: allenmq@wsdot.wa.gov  

Jason Koreski 
Project Engineer 
460 Stuart St.
Bellingham, WA 98226
Phone: (360) 788-7400
E-mail: koreskj@wsdot.wa.gov 

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