Local Information

Roundabout coming in for a landing in Oak Harbor

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 07:37

Ally Barrera, communications, 206-440-4457
Shane Spahr, WSDOT project engineer, 360-848-7103

Travelers should plan for around-the-clock lane reductions, delays on State Route 20 throughout June

OAK HARBOR – This summer, travelers will notice more than soaring fighter jets when driving by the north entrance to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

Starting Wednesday, May 29, Washington State Department of Transportation contractor crews with SRV Construction will begin building a new roundabout on SR 20 at Banta Road to improve safety at this intersection.

I feel the need, the need for safety
Since 2011, law enforcement responded to 26 crashes at SR 20 and Banta Road. Half of those collisions involved vehicles trying to turn onto the highway from side roads. Eleven people were hurt in the past eight years.

Roundabouts have a proven history of reducing injury and deadly crashes by more than 75 percent. The roundabout will also provide a new U-turn option for people located north and south of Banta Road, which will reduce left turns onto the highway and the chance of dangerous T-bone collisions.

The roundabout will also add highway crossing areas to help Island Transit riders safely cross the highway to nearby bus stops.

Around-the-clock delays expected
Travelers should prepare for delays, especially during peak commute periods. To finish this $2.5 million project as soon as possible, crews will work 20 hours a day, six days a week through the month of June. They will build the roundabout one half at a time. Traffic control will remain in place around the clock with flaggers alternating traffic through the work zone.

To help keep traffic backups to a minimum, drivers should:

  • Avoid traveling during peak commutes, 6 to 8 a.m. and 3 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Carpool, vanpool or telework.
  • Save nonessential trips for another time.

The new roundabout will open to traffic before July 4, with the remaining work to wrap up in the fall.

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