Road work is scheduled to begin next week on a long-awaited intersection improvement in North Whidbey.
Minor work with minimal traffic impacts will occur Feb. 10 through Feb. 14 on Regatta Drive and Crescent Harbor Road, according to Island County officials. The intersection will close completely on Feb. 17 and will remain closed around the clock for up to four months, said Assistant County Engineer Connie Bowers.
The improvements will add right and left turn lanes from Regatta onto Crescent Harbor Road and lower the intersection to reduce the grade. There had been issues with vehicles making “big sweeping turns” off Regatta at high speeds and at an angle that didn’t automatically turn off the car’s blinker, Bowers said. Angled collisions were relatively frequent near Torpedo Road.
Bringing the turn lane to the top of the intersection and replacing the bypass lane should force people to slow down as well as ensure their traffic signals automatically switch off once the turn is made, she said.
Additionally, the intersection’s steep grade sometimes caused vehicles to slide during icy conditions, which usually resulted in road closure.
Lowering the intersection should help address this problem and prevent the need for closure in winter weather, she said.
These improvements had been on the Public Works’ radar for some time. Work was originally supposed to start in 2017, but acquiring right of way in the area had been a challenge, Bowers said.
Property rights for a relocated drainage facility needed to be worked out among the city, county and Navy, she said. A city water line will be lowered along with the road, and the county had to ensure the city was ready to construct at the same time, Bowers said.
The project will also include installation of street lights and a retaining wall to create room for shoulders and the additional lanes.
The department expects construction to cost approximately $1.6 million and has contracted with Strider Construction to do the work.