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Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Dave Chesson, Communications, 360-757-5970 (Burlington)
Dave Crisman, Project Engineer, 360-428-1593 (Mount Vernon)
WHIDBEY ISLAND – Spring is in the air and orange safety barrels are popping up like dandelions along highways across the state. It’s time for road construction, and on State Route 20 those barrels will soon sprout south of Oak Harbor around Arnold Road as crews get ready to make safety improvements this summer.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) hired Interwest Construction to make the improvements for $2.3 million. Construction is expected to begin in June and should finish by fall. The actual schedule will be determined shortly after the contractor and WSDOT meet to finalize plans.
Crews will reduce a sharp curve and level SR 20 at the Arnold Road intersection to improve sight distance, and realign the west leg of the intersection to improve visibility for drivers on Arnold Road. Crews will also add more slope to the curve between Arnold Road and Sidney Street to make the curve easier to drive.
“This has been the site of numerous collisions,” said WSDOT engineering manager Marco Foster. “We are happy to break ground on these much-needed improvements.”
The majority of work requiring lane closures will be done at night to help reduce delays for the 11,000 drivers that use this stretch daily. A new roadway alignment will be partially built next to the current roadway during the day, since it will be out of the way of drivers. Also, each leg of Arnold Road will be closed for about a week as crews realign and reconnect each side of Arnold Road to the highway. A short detour will be provided.
One easy way for residents and drivers to stay informed during construction is to subscribe to WSDOT email updates. Visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/emailupdates and subscribe to the Skagit/Island update.
For more project information, visit the project website at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR20/LibbeyRoadToSidneyStreet.
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