Local Information

Safety improvements coming to northern Whidbey Island intersection

Monday, July 2, 2018 - 13:56

Todd Carlson, planning and engineering services, 360-757-5980
Andrea E. Petrich, communications, 360-757-5963

WSDOT will build a roundabout at SR 20 and Banta Road

OAK HARBOR – Following a year of community outreach meetings, open houses and conversations with community partners, Washington State Department of Transportation planners and engineers have chosen to build a roundabout at State Route 20 and Banta/Northgate roads.

“This intersection design is the best solution for this area,” said Project Engineer, Gabe Ng. “The community wants safety improvements for those turning, while keeping SR 20 traffic moving smoothly. Building a roundabout will address those community concerns and improve access for people using Island Transit services.”

SR 20 and Banta Road/Northgate Avenue

This intersection, 2.7 miles south of Deception Pass, connects local neighborhoods to SR 20, and is an entrance for personnel to Naval Air Station Whidbey, as well as a busy thoroughfare. It’s the only highway providing land access on-and-off Whidbey Island. This project will improve safety and mobility for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers on Whidbey Island.

Improving safety
Improving safety on state highways is a top priority for WSDOT. Since 2011, law enforcement responded to 25 crashes at this intersection. Eleven of those collisions involved injuries. Statistics show that roundabouts help reduce injury and deadly crashes by more than 75 percent.

Island Transit also services stops on each side of the highway, the current intersection does not include safe pedestrian access across SR 20 for those using public transit. A roundabout will include pedestrian crossing areas and safe islands to help people safely cross the highway when accessing the nearby bus stops.

This roundabout will also allow drivers north and south of the intersection to choose right-in right-out options from other intersections and driveways by providing a U-turn option at the new roundabout.

Community outreach
WSDOT staff worked with county partners, NAS Whidbey staff and the community to find the correct solution for this intersection. Improving safety and ease for those making turns from Banta Road and Northgate Drive while keeping SR 20 traffic moving were the most common concerns by the traveling public, neighbors, NAS Whidbey staff and other partner agencies.

Project timeline
WSDOT crews are still working on a final design, right-of-way acquisition and plans for traffic control and routing during construction. WSDOT plans to advertise this project for contractor bidding early in 2019 and have construction complete by fall 2019.

This project is estimated to cost $2.4 million. Federals Lands Access Program is funding this project to improve safety, traffic circulation and access to NAS Whidbey.

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