Sequim council says new roundabout is "best way to safety"

Peninsula News Network

5/6/05 - Sequim, WA - Sequim city council members say a new roundabout to be constructed on the city’s north side is the “most effective way” to improve safety at one of the East End’s busiest intersections.

Thousands of cars pour through the intersection where Sequim-Dungeness Way, the Old Olympic Highway and Port Williams come together just north of town.The intersection has basically been unchanged for the past several years, since turn lanes were installed. Traffic has to stop crossing the Sequim-Dungeness Way. And while that might have been fine years ago, engineers say the intersection simply can’t handle all the traffic generated by development north of the city, and especially the increase in turning traffic. Waiting to cross the road can take forever.

A lot of people don’t wait long enough, and that leads to accidents. Public Works Director Jim Bay says installing a roundabout, like the one already in use on West Washington, is a “great opportunity  to correct those issues”. Wednesday morning, the city council awarded the contract to build the latest roundabout to Primo Construction of Carlsborg, a contract worth $194,000.

The city will have to shift some dollars to cover that cost. Originally, Sequim thought one of the developers working on an adjacent property would handle the contract and the city had only budgeted $88,000 with $66,000 coming from one developer. Bay suggested the city could cover the $75,000 shortfall by using dollars saved on buying right-of-way on the Brownfield Road project, although Councilwoman Patricia Kasovia-Schmitt was worried about doing that until the city is sure over developers in the area will contribute to the project.

But the rest of the council felt it was important to proceed, and Bay expressed confidence that the city will get other developers to pay the difference. Bay had said the project would start 10-days from now. But when the council reminded him that would fall right during the Irrigation Festival, he agreed that it would be better to wait until after the celebration to start construction.



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