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SR 20 - Sharpes Corner Vicinity - Interchange

Status

April 2014

  • As of Aug. 2013, this project has been shelved due to a lack of funding.
  • The Legislature allocated new funding in Dec. 2012, so we could start working on design again after the project funding had been deferred and shelved in 2009.
  • We recently applied for a TIGER grant that would have funded the project through construction. However, we did not receive any funding.

Overview
We have been designing improvements for the SR 20 Sharpes Corner intersection and the Miller-Gibralter Road intersection near Anacortes.

Based on the most recent analysis and design work, our plan would be to build a roundabout at both of the busy intersections, to help improve safety and relieve congestion.

The Sharpes Corner intersection has significant congestion at times, especially during the busy summer tourist season. The lengthy backups can extend out into 50 mph-oncoming traffic, which increases the risk of high-speed, rear-end collisions.

We also looked at options to improve pedestrian and bicycle mobility near Sharpes Corner.

Why is WSDOT interested in 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, BC. As a consequence, the intersection of these two roadways is of 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 towards Whidbey Island often backs up beyond the turn lane, leaving vehicles stopped on the highway, increasing the chance of rear-end collisions.

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

We have heard from many of you that bike/pedestrian improvements are very important, and we are looking at ways to incorporate bike/pedestrian elements into our final design.

Project Benefits

  • Safety: Improvements to these intersections will increase traffic flow and decrease rear-end collisions, making the roadway safer for drivers. Bicycle and pedestrian improvements will increase safety and mobility in the area.
  • Improve traffic flow: Drivers will see significant increases in roadway capacity and traffic flow. This means shorter drive times and less time sitting in traffic.
  • Environment: We will make improvements to stormwater culverts and detention ponds where necessary to meet current WSDOT environmental standards. 

What is the project timeline?
August 2013: WSDOT engineers took a fresh look at the collision and crash data and began making suggested improvements to the design. Unfortunately, not enough funding was available to take the project further, and it was shelved indefinitly.
 
December 2012 - The Legislature allocated funding to verify the design shelved in 2009 and allow WSDOT to continue design and right-of-way acquisition work.
 
May 2009 - The 2009 legislative budget has delayed this project indefinitely.

Sept. 25, 2008 - We hosted another open house in Anacortes to update the community on our design progress to date.

Feb. 25, 2008 - We held an open house in Oak Harbor to update the community on plans to build a roundabout at Sharpes Corner.

Jan. 2008 - We held a Value Engineering study to evaluate all the options and look for ways to improve on the recommended option.

Nov. 15, 2007 - We hosted an open house in Anacortes to showcase six design options.

2005 - The Legislature provided funding to improve the intersection as part of the 2005 Transportation Partnership Program.

Financial Information

We need $21 million additional funding to complete the project.

    How can I get more information?
    Contact:
    Communications Dave Chesson
    WSDOT Mt. Baker Headquarters
    1043 Goldenrod Road, Suite 101
    Burlington, WA 98233-3415
    Phone: 360-757-5997
    E-mail: Chessod@wsdot.wa.gov  

    or

    Project Engineer Shane Spahr
    1043 Goldenrod Road, Suite 101
    Burlington, WA 98233-3415
    Phone: (360) 757-5856
    E-mail: spahrs@wsdot.wa.gov

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