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Council plans city traffic projects

"There will be a pier in downtown Oak Harbor.Highway 20 at the south end of the city will be widened from Beeksma Drive to SW Swantown Avenue. Drivers on Scenic Heights won't be able to turn left onto Highway 20. Those are some of the proposals that made it to the top of a new list of 36 prioritized road construction and transportation projects for Oak Harbor.The Oak Harbor City Council passed the updated Six Year Transportation Improvement Program at its meeting Tuesday night. The state, under the Growth Management Act, requires cities to update the list of transportation projects each year.The update passed without dissent, although councilmen Rex Hankins and Bob Morrison and Mayor Patty Cohen were absent.City Engineer Ryan Goodman explained that the construction projects were prioritized based on the recently revised transportation element of the Comprehensive Plan, new traffic modeling and whether the projects have funding.Projects that have any funding identified were put at the top of the list, he said, with growth-related projects next. Much of the projects costs will come from state and local grants.These are the top projects for the next six years, according to Goodman's report:1. Elimination of left turns from Scenic Heights onto Highway 20. The project is estimated to cost $5,000, which will be funded by developer contributions.2. Installation of a traffic light at the intersection of NE Seventh Avenue and Oak Harbor Street. It's estimated to cost $160,000, with a federal grant funding $139,000.3. Installation of a traffic light at the intersection of NW Crosby Avenue and NW Heller Street. It's estimated to cost $160,000, with a federal grant funding $139,000.4. Building a pier on the Oak Harbor waterfront. The entire project is estimated to cost $2.5 million, but project boosters project that all but $300,000 will come from grants.5. Beautification of Pioneer Way - from Highway 20 to Ely Street - which involves purchasing right-of-way and aesthetic intersection improvements. It is estimated to cost $314,000, with $216,000 from local funds.6. Extension of S. Barrington Drive from SW Erie to SW Fairhaven. It is estimated to cost $2.1 million. Goodman said the city has a $100,000 grant for the project.7. Widening and improving Highway 20 from Beeksma to Swantown. It is estimated to cost $1.7 million, with local contributions estimated at only $229,000.8. Installation of a traffic light and pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Pioneer Way and Regatta Drive. It is estimated to cost $160,000, with $138,000 funded by grants.9. Widening and installation of sidewalks along Highway 20 from Midway Boulevard to Ault Field Road. It is estimated to cost $3.6 million, with $3.1 million funded by grants.10. Improvements - including buying right-of-way, adding sidewalks and a bike path - to SE Sixth Avenue from Highway 20 to SE Ely. It is estimated to cost $753,000, with $603,000 from state funds."

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