Sharpes Corner roundabout construction starts next Monday and will last into early summer, so drivers and cyclists should be ready for delays caused lane closures.
On Monday, April 2, Washington State Department of Transportation contractor crews from Tapani, Inc. will start building two new roundabouts near busy intersections on SR 20 that take travelers to Anacortes or Whidbey Island. Crews plan to work around-the-clock to complete major portions of this project before July 3.
Construction on the first roundabout will start at the SR 20 and Miller/Gibralter intersection, and take about one month to complete. Flaggers will alternate traffic through the area.
Work on the SR 20 and SR 20 Spur (Sharpes Corner) intersection begins once the first roundabout is complete. During construction at Sharpes Corner, crews will reduce traffic to a single lane. Drivers will always have access through the area and into businesses, which will remain open.
In addition to the Sharpes Corner roundabout, crews will build a trail south of the intersection for use by cyclists, pedestrians and other non-vehicle users.
The state says building these roundabouts will improve safety and reduce delays through these busy intersections.
During more than a half-dozen neighborhood meetings, community members told WSDOT engineers to get construction done as quickly as possible without inconveniencing summer travelers. While crews cannot avoid all trips or events, an around-the-clock work schedule allows them to finish construction during a season with lower travel volumes. This schedule will also enable crews to finish the project in less than one year, saving millions of dollars in labor and equipment costs.
Those who live or travel to the Anacortes or Deception Pass area will always have access through the work zone. Travelers should expect some delays during peak weekday or weekend commute times.
Some tips from WSDOT to get through the area as easily as possible:
- Avoid the morning and afternoon commute times.
- Go early or leave late to miss busy Friday afternoon traffic.
- Carpool or vanpool.
- Use public transportation.
- Ride a bike.
- Work remotely.
- Leave extra time in your travel schedule to make reservations, appointments or meetings.
The length of delays will depend on choices drivers make during the various phases of construction.
In April, flaggers will alternate traffic.
In May, a temporary signal will help one lane of traffic get through in all directions.
In June, a single lane of traffic will free flow in all directions around roundabout construction work.
Travelers with ferry reservations or other time sensitive appointments should leave enough time to get through the work zone. Cyclists headed through this area should use the Tommy Thompson Trail if headed to or from Anacortes or Skagit County roads toward Whidbey Island to avoid this construction zone.