Fort Nugent roadwork underway

Crews from Krieg Construction have started work on road and safety improvements on Fort Nugent Road in front of Fort Nugent Park.

The project involves roadway widening, grade changes, new sidewalks, storm drainage and street light installation.

Eric Johnston, city of Oak Harbor engineer, said safety and aesthetics are the focus of the improvements.

The improvements will have a safety feature that is new to Oak Harbor, but gaining popularity in traffic-dense King County.

The crosswalk between Fort Nugent Park and the Fireside subdivision will feature in-pavement lighting. The system uses high intensity LED lights that flash as a pedestrian crosses the street, giving drivers a warning that is hard to miss.

“We’re really excited about the crosswalk,” Johnston said. “It’s going to be a big improvement.”

Johnston said studies show only 50 percent of drivers stop at crosswalks simply marked with the traditional wide white stripes. With the flashing light system, that rate goes up to 95 percent.

Decorative landscape medians and curb bulb-outs will be installed at the crosswalk to further “calm” traffic and improve aesthetics, Johnston said.

Krieg Construction is undertaking the project as part of its Fireside development project, but Johnston said the city will reimburse the contractor $180,000 for improvements above and beyond the basics. Krieg’s total cost will be about two-thirds more than that.

The quarter mile long project will extend from Ridgeway Drive to the west city limits, with construction expected to take two months to complete.

During the construction drivers can expect occasional lane closures and traffic control. A portion of the roadway will be left as a gravel road for about a week during regrading work.

“Drivers are encouraged to slow down through the work area or find alternative routes,” Johnston said.

Anyone with questions or concerns about the project can contact Johnston at the city engineering division, 679-5551.

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