Date: Friday, October 12, 2012
Turn lanes, warning beacons may be lower-cost way to reduce collisions
OKANOGAN – Engineers have revised their plans for the US 97/Cameron Lake Road intersection thanks to feedback from the public at September’s open house. Instead of a roundabout, the Washington State Department of Transportation is now planning turn lanes, signs and warning signals to help reduce the chance of collisions at the busy intersection.
“When we studied the traffic patterns at the Cameron Lake and nearby Oak Street intersections, we determined that a roundabout would be an effective solution,” said WSDOT project engineer Kevin Waligorski. “At the open house, the roundabout had its fans, but a lot of the attendees supported parts from several of the alternatives on display, including turn lanes, turn pockets and signs. We listened and are designing a revised alternative combining those parts in a way we think can reduce the collisions at an even lower cost than a roundabout.”
Beyond the cost savings, another benefit of the new design is that it won’t conflict with intersection improvements – such as a signal or roundabout – if traffic increases in the future.
Revised plans for the Cameron Lake/Armory Junction Road intersection include new left-turn lanes and a revised right-turn lane that improves sight distance. Newly developed electronic signs will be installed on US 97 and will flash to alert drivers that vehicles are waiting on the side streets to enter the intersection.
The Oak Street/Air Port Road intersection improvements will include new left-turn lanes as presented at the open house. At both intersections, new turn lanes and turn pockets will keep freight traffic moving by removing turning vehicles from the through lanes, and will allow the intersections to work more efficiently.
Construction to improve the intersections could begin as early as next summer.
The US 97/Cameron Lake Road intersection handles nearly 6,200 vehicles per day and was the site of 11 collisions in the past five years. The nearby Oak Street intersection handles approximately 4,100 vehicles per day.
Find more information about the US 97 Cameron Lake Road intersection improvement project – including a description of the problem, alternative solutions, budget and construction schedule – online:www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/US97/CameronLakeRdIntersection/
To get direct email updates on this project, sign up for the “US 97 Chelan to B.C. Border” email list online:https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/WADOT/subscriber/new?topic_id=WADOT_271
Read the Gazette-Tribune’s coverage of the open house here.