Community News

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Several dozen people reviewed state Transportation Department options for improving traffic lfow and safety at Sharpes Corner.

WSDOT Traffic Engineer Mike Koidal, here, explains several options to attendees at the Middle School on Thursday night as part of a renewed effort to improve Sharpes Corner traffic after the legislature several years ago pulled back $24 million in funding for the project.

Now, according to John Drye, Engineering Manager - Mt. Baker Area, there is $13.4 million available and those funds will cover Sharpes Corner, as well as an improved intersection of Highway 20 and Gibraltar Rd/Miller Rd.

Amon the options reviewed at the Open House were a roundabout at Sharpes Corner and an option that would not allow northbound traffic on Highway 20 from Oak Harbor to turn left toward Anacortes at Sharpes Corner. That traffic, according to one option, would need to turn right at Sharpes Corner, then do a U-turn at West March Pt. Road.

An earlier plan for Sharpes Corner was shut down in 2009 after the legislature withdrew what Drye called “extravagent funding,” for the project.

Drye told a reporter at the meeting that the lower appropriation will mean that an underpass, which was one of the earlier proposals, would not be possible with any updated plan. He also said that their earlier traffic projections were overestimating traffic flow through the intersection.

Drye said the current plan calls for reconstruction of the intersection in the “2018-2019 time frame.”

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