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Major Highway 20 work is done, lane closures end

This map prepared by WSDOT shows the area of the Quiet Coves projects, which is now substantially complete.  - Map courtesy of Washington State Department of Transportation
This map prepared by WSDOT shows the area of the Quiet Coves projects, which is now substantially complete.
— image credit: Map courtesy of Washington State Department of Transportation

Over the last five years, $195 million has been spent for safety improvements on Highway 20, on and off Whidbey Island.

The final project was recently substantially completed. Just north of Deception Pass, crews working on the Quiet Cove projects have widened SR 20, built a new bridge, reduced hills and curves that limited sight distance, and improved safety at intersections between Pass Lake and Sharpes Corner.

According to a news release from the Washington Department of Transportation, the project included blasting rock hillsides and months of excavation work that was, at times, noisy and inconvenient for drivers and local residents.

The $32.5 million project was completed on time and on budget in two stages and by separate contractors, Marshbank Construction and Scarsella Brothers Inc. Crews first broke ground in May 2007 on the 2003 gas tax-funded project.

"Crews will continue to finish miscellaneous tasks this winter, but drivers won’t likely see any more lane closures," said Dave Chesson, WSDOT spokesman.

The end of the Quiet Cove projects also marks the end of five years and $195 million in construction on nine safety improvement projects along the SR 20 corridor, stretching from Interstate 5 in Burlington to south of Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island.

"The projects have dramatically improved sections of the corridor west of I-5, where serious and sometimes fatal collisions had occurred," Chesson said.

State Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, who lined up the money for the Highway 20 work, said the projects went well.

“These are great examples of our approach to road projects today,” said Haugen, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee. “In each case, we’ve made these roads safer and easier to travel, and we’ve done it on time and on budget.”

SR 20 serves a host of important communities and is vital to the local economy. Anacortes and its ferry terminal, in turn the main transportation access to the San Juan Islands, depend on the route. Whidbey Island depends on SR 20 as the only road-based access. Along the route are many smaller communities and important tourist, agricultural and Tribal business interests.

For more information about the Quiet Cove project, visit the project Web site www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR20/QuietCove_SR20spur. For information on recently completed projects, visit: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/completed.

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