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City's traffic plan may upset residents
"A newly updated plan for Oak Harbor road construction includes things that may upset some city residents.The city's six-year transportation improvement plan calls for traffic signal lights at three intersections, punching Barrington Drive through to SW Fairhaven Drive and preventing left-hand turns onto State Route 20 from Scenic Heights Road.But other projects are likely to draw smiles, including preliminary work on the Oak Harbor pier and widening the highway in the busy area between Beeksma Drive and Swantown Street.The Oak Harbor volunteer planning commission started scrutinizing the city's proposed six-year transportation improvement program during a public hearing Tuesday night. The commission's job is to look at the plan and add recommendations before forwarding it to the Oak Harbor City Council.The city has to update the six-year transportation program every year, along with the capital facilities plan and the comprehensive plan transportation, under the state Growth Management Act. The staff revised this year's transportation program by removing construction projects that were completed last year and adjusting priorities based on the latest grand awards and the city's sputtering budget.The construction projects are prioritized according to funding, among other factors. The top seven projects have secure funding - from a variety of federal, state and local sources - while the rest of the 38 projects comprise more of a wish list of road construction.The top projects include:* A turn control at the intersection of Scenic Heights Road and State Route 20 to eliminate left turns onto the highway. The $5,000 project is scheduled to start June 1, 2002.* A traffic signal light at the intersection of NE Seventh Avenue and Oak Harbor Street. The $150,000 project is scheduled to start June 1, 2002.* A traffic signal light at the intersection of NE Sixteenth Avenue and State Route 20. The $180,000 project is scheduled to begin Jan. 1, 2003.* A traffic signal light at the intersection of NW Crosby Avenue and Heller Street. The $150,000 project is scheduled to start June 1, 2002.* The final design and engineering of the proposed Oak Harbor pier, as well as dredging, pile driving and utilities. This is Phase 2 of the three-phase project. Construction of the $2.3 million project is set to start June 1, 2003.* Extension of SW Barrington Drive from SW Erie Street to SW Fairhaven Drive. The $1.7 million project is scheduled to begin June 1, 2006.* Widening of State Route 20 from South Beeksma Drive to Southwest Swantown Avenue. The $1.7 million project is scheduled to start June 1, 2006.You can reach staff reporter Jessie Stensland at email@example.com or call 675-6611. "