By Gale Fiege Herald Staff
ARLINGTON — Construction is set to begin this week on a roundabout at the intersection of Highway 9 and Highway 531, also known as 172nd Street NE.
Drivers can expect lane closures at the intersection, possibly as soon as tonight, state Department of Transportation officials said. The project is expected to be complete by October.
The Legislature set aside $15.6 million in 2005 to improve safety and relieve congestion at the intersection.
About 17,000 people drive through each day, and the city officials expect the population of the area to grow and area business and manufacturing to increase. The city of Arlington is set annex about 54 acres near the intersection.
Between 2004 and 2008, about 30 people were injured in accidents that happened primarily when drivers were attempting to make left turns.
A roundabout was chosen as the solution. State engineers said that the roundabout forces drivers to slow down and keeps them in a continuous flow of traffic, with no traffic light to beat. It also helps prevent T-bone accidents and head-on collisions, transportations officials said.
State officials estimated that the new roundabout will be good for at least 20 years.
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the roundabout project in Arlington, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/ projects/sr9/sr531intersection or call 360-757-5997.
For information about how to drive in a roundabout, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/ Safety/roundabouts.