ARLINGTON – It used to be that the intersection of State Route 9 and State Route 531 in Arlington had a lot of crashes. In a five-year span, there were 28 collisions resulting in 29 injuries, to be exact. But those crashes happened when a traffic signal directed drivers through the busy intersection.
That will all change now that contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation have finished building a new roundabout at the intersection. Crews expect to have all the concrete and lane striping completed Friday, Nov. 9, and all that will remain left to complete is landscaping, which will continue for several more weeks.
The roundabout is expected to significantly improve safety for roughly 16,000 daily drivers.
“This roundabout is going to be a change for drivers – it’ll be a great safety improvement, for sure,” said Engineering Manager Jay Drye. “It might take a little getting used to, but once people get the hang of it, I think it will really improve traffic flow by cutting down on delays and crashes.”
Numerous national studies have shown that roundabouts reduce injuries by 75 percent, fatalities by 90 percent and overall collisions by 37 percent at intersections where they replace signals.
Recognizing the large number of semitrucks and horse trailers that use these highways, WSDOT built the roundabout to accommodate the larger vehicles.
More information and YouTube videos about how to drive roundabouts are available on the WSDOT roundabout website.
Washington state ranks second in the nation for the most roundabouts. There are approximately 240 roundabouts across the state and roughly 70 of those are on state highways. Only Colorado has more roundabouts.
Hyperlinks within the news release:
· Website www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR9/SR531intersection/
· Pictures www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/sets/72157631699266960/with/8161860054/
· Studies www.wsdot.wa.gov/Safety/roundabouts/benefits.htm
· Roundabouts www.wsdot.wa.gov/Safety/roundabouts/default.htm
WSDOT keeps people, businesses and the economy moving by operating and improving the state's transportation systems. To learn more about what we're doing, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/news for pictures, videos, news and blogs. Real time traffic information is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic or by dialing 511.
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