Letters to the Editor

Traffic: Bad experience on highway

I just want to pass along a little word of warning to Whidbey residents about the badly needed road construction going on. In June we came down to Oak Harbor from our home near Bellingham to pick up our grandson for a much awaited camping trip. Construction sites along Highway 20 were a welcome sign of needed progress and we are glad to see the badly needed improvements being done, especially at the Sleeper Road intersection.

Our word of caution to other motorist is this. When you enter a narrow lane of road construction marked by either the fat barrel cones or the tall orange poles, use extreme caution. On this trip we were entering that section of road right by the gravel pit heading into town. No flaggers were working even though heavy equipment was on the road and heavy traffic was being squeezed into two narrow lanes marked by safety poles. A truck pulling a travel trailer going the other direction too fast for the site clipped a post and sent it into the side of our Tracker, breaking off the driver's side mirror. When able to turn around at Sleeper and return to the site we found our mirror smashed in the traffic lane and we pulled over and talked with two of the construction workers about the poor conducting of traffic safety on their site.

Of course we could not catch the travel trailer and the owner may not have known he clipped the pole, but the job foreman told us of his company insurance and urged us to call them. He told us that because the work was being done mainly out of the traffic flow they were not required by the state to have flaggers. Let it be known to those of you who travel in these construction sites that the damage done to your vehicles due to the lane closures and restrictions is your responsibility. Through no fault on your own part do you have to pay for the damage done. The insurance company of the construction company feels they are not at fault for your loss. In our case the mirror cost us about $75 to replace and dampened a nice camping trip.

Judith Vaughn

Maple Falls

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