Section of Hwy. 92 closing for 5 days for roundabout work

LAKE STEVENS — Anyone who planned to travel on Highway 92 through Lake Stevens this coming week will need to find another way to go.

The state plans to close a short section of the highway for more than five days, from Sunday night to Saturday morning, to install roundabouts at two treacherous intersections.

The highway will be closed from 99th Avenue NE to 113th Avenue NE from 7 p.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. next Saturday. The two intersections are slightly less than a mile apart. Crews working for the state Department of Transportation plan to install the roundabouts at those two crossings.

During the closure, drivers will be detoured to 84th Street NE, through Getchell, and Highway 9. Drivers on Callow Road will be able to go directly across Highway 92 where the two intersect, but no turns will be allowed, said Gil McNabb, an engineering manager for the state Department of Transportation.

The project costs a combined $7.7 million for the two roundabouts.

The two intersections experienced a combined 42 accidents from 2006 to 2010, according to the state. As many as 21,000 vehicles pass through the stretch of highway every day.

The intersection of 113th Avenue NE and Highway 92 is a short distance from Highland Elementary School and Lake Stevens High School.

Visibility is limited for drivers entering the highway, especially at 113th, and making the turn onto the highway can be tricky. Drivers sometimes have to line up and wait.

“This will allow continuous flow of traffic through those intersections,” McNabb said.

Roundabouts send drivers around a raised concrete circle in the middle of the intersection. This prevents high-speed, head-on and broadside collisions, state traffic engineers say. Drivers do not have to stop before entering a roundabout except to yield to a car approaching from the left.

The two intersections are being enlarged to make room for new lanes surrounding the raised concrete circle in the center, McNabb said.

All the construction work on the roundabouts and necessary changes to the intersections is expected to be done during the five-day closure.

It’s possible the work can be done in less than the planned time, McNabb said.

“We’re hoping for an earlier opening,” he said.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; sheets@heraldnet.com.

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