A couple years ago, a Street Smarts reader reached out about safety concerns at Highway 9 and 108th Street NE near Marysville.
“It is really hard to enter a 55 mph highway from a complete stop and pick up speed before the oncoming traffic catches up to you,” Julie Hanner wrote at the time.
Washington State Department of Transportation officials responded that they were evaluating ideas, but didn’t have money to do anything.
That money is now on its way.
A draft Washington State Transportation Improvement Program, dubbed the STIP, lists the intersection as one of its priority projects in line to receive federal funding. The total estimated project cost is $3.3 million, all of it coming from federal grants.
“The plan is to install a single-lane roundabout to reduce wait times and collisions at that intersection,” WSDOT spokeswoman Frances Fedoriska said.
Construction is scheduled to begin in late spring 2018.
When told the latest news, Hanner said she’s “very pleased.”
“I am actually happy it’s going to be a roundabout rather than a traffic signal,” Hanner added. “I think they help traffic flow better and safer.”
About 16,000 drivers use this intersection daily, with up to 1,500 of them trying to turn from stop signs at 108th Street. From 2012 to November 2017, there were 28 collisions there, including 10 rear-end crashes and six happening at the stop signs.
Traffic volumes in the area are only expected to grow.
For more information, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR9/108thstimprove.
The public is able to review and comment on the draft 2018-2021 STIP through Wednesday.
The list identifies projects that are first in line for federal transportation dollars, based on input from a variety of groups, including local governments. They range from improved crosswalks to new bridges. In all, more than 1,400 statewide transportation improvement projects using $3.5 billion in federal funds are included in the plan.
A few other local projects on the list:
Lake Stevens: Install intersection improvements at 91st Avenue NE and Market Place (total project estimate $941,000)
Monroe: Design work to extend a pedestrian and bicycle path along Chain Lake Road, from the end of the existing path at Brown Road to city limits (total project estimate $3.2 million)
Snohomish: Design work to set the stage for intersection improvements at Bickford Avenue and Weaver Road, which will include a new traffic signal (total project estimate $1.1 million)
Just because a project is on the list does not mean improvements are imminent. Some are in the design phase, while others are ready to break ground. There are projects that have appeared on previous planning lists, and others that are new.
Both the Monroe and Snohomish projects are in the design phase. Construction of the Chain Lake Road path is not expected until 2020. Likewise, design work is expected to last into 2019 for the Bickford-Weaver intersection.
In Lake Stevens, plans have long called for a roundabout at 91st Avenue and Market Place, but the state’s plans to improve the interchange of Highway 9 and Highway 204 could bring different upgrades to ensure efficient traffic flow, Public Works Director Eric Durpos said.
Written comments about STIP projects can be sent to Nancy Huntley, WSDOT, P.O. Box 47390, Olympia, WA 98504-7390, or via email to Huntlen@wsdot.wa.gov, or by fax at 360-705-6822.
Melissa Slager: email@example.com; 425-339-3432.