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US 2 - Safety Improvements - Rice Road and Fern Bluff Road

Rice Road: We built a single-lane roundabout at the intersection of US 2 and Rice Road in Sultan. The roundabout is helping to control traffic flow through the intersection and reduce potential conflict points for turning drivers. The intersection saw 20 collisions in a five-year period, including 11 that involved turning vehicles. It was also the site of a fatal collision in February 2010 and serious injury collisions in August 2010 and January 2012.

Following the 2010 fatal collision, we worked with the community and local agencies on US 2 to analyze the intersection and develop potential near- and long-term safety improvements. As part of our review, we installed a temporary traffic camera to monitor the intersection and made several field visits to observe driver behavior. Our review showed that many drivers were making high-risk movements through and near the intersection.

In June 2010 we made interim striping improvements to US 2 near Rice Road. We restriped the two-way left-turn lane on US 2 to provide separate left-turn pockets at Rice Road. We also added skip striping to help guide drivers making left turns from Rice Road to the through lanes on US 2 and refreshed the striping on the westbound US 2 auxiliary lane approaching the intersection. The roundabout is a long-term approach to improve traffic flow and safety at this location.

Fern Bluff Road: We improved sight distance at the intersection by cutting back and clearing vegetation along the highway.

How You Benefit
Cross GlyphImproves Safety
Roundabouts help reduce the likelihood and severity of collisions. Studies have shown that they are safer than traditional stop sign or signal-controlled intersections. Learn more on our common questions page. Removing vegetation helps improve sight distance, which helps reduce the risk of serious collisions.

Partnerships & Cooperation
Summer 2008: We began designing Fern Bluff Road improvements June 2010: We began designing Rice Road improvements Sept. 15, 2010: About 90 people attended an open house for US 2 and Rice Road at Sultan Middle School Oct. 20, 2010: Open house for US 2 and Fern Bluff improvements April 2011: We requested qualifications from interested contractors May 2011: We requested proposals from qualified contractors May 16, 2011: We set up a mock roundabout so community members could take test drives. See photos from the event or watch a video (YouTube | Windows Media Player) September 2011: Contract awarded to Lakeside/Tri-State construction, a joint venture January 2012: We began construction April 12, 2012: We opened the roundabout to traffic June 2012: We completed final work on the project.

This project was built using the design-build process.


The total funding available for this project from all sources is $4.9 million.

  • Pre-existing funds - $4.3 million

Note: The 2008 legislature allocated $10 million for safety improvements on US 2 between Monroe and Gold Bar. The first four improvements were completed in 2010.

Contact Us
Janice Fahning
WSDOT Project Engineer

Meghan Soptich Pembroke
WSDOT Communications
Phone: (206) 440-4704

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