Residents can view options for Highway 20 construction project at Parker Road
By NATHAN WHALEN
Whidbey News Times Staff reporter
December 13, 2012 · Updated 6:42 AM
State department of transportation staff wants to see what people think of plans to change an intersection on Highway 20 near Outlying Field.
The Washington State Department of Transportation is holding a public meeting 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 13 at the Coupeville High School Commons located on South Main Street.
During the meeting, residents will see eight different options to change the intersection of Miller, Parker and Old Smith Prairie roads with Highway 20. Those closely placed intersections are located on a curvy stretch of Highway 20 at the edge of Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.
In addition, people will also see plans to add a left-turn lane from southbound Highway 20 to the Island County transfer station.
“What we need is feedback from people who live and drive out there,” said Bronlea Mishler, spokeswoman for the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The intersection of the highway with Parker Road and Old Smith Prairie Road sparked controversy months ago when Central Whidbey residents learned about Island Transit’s plans to close the two intersections and build a new one in between to make way for a secondary access to the public entity’s new headquarters.
Some residents argued the new intersection would make driving conditions more dangerous on the stretch of Highway 20 north of Outlying Field.
Since hearing of residents’ concerns, Island Transit officials scuttled their plans for the intersection.
The Washington State Department of Transportation has $1.5 million to design options for the intersection, but Mishler said the funding won’t pay for any construction. She added it is easier for staff to ask the legislature for funding if designs for the intersection are already in place.
As for the new left-turn lane from southbound Highway 20 to the solid waste station, construction is scheduled to begin in 2014 and the department of transportation has a $3.3 million budget for the project.
Mishler said people can also make comments online by going to www.wsdot.wa.gov and type in “Morris Road to Jacobs Road safety improvements” in the search bar.
Contact Whidbey News Times Staff reporter Nathan Whalen at email@example.com or 360-675-6611 ext. 5058.