It has a long history of accidents, according to the state Transportation Department.
DOT Southeast Region Director Al Clough says there will be no left turns until mid-July, while the lanes onto Yandukin Drive and the Fred Meyer access road are lengthened to give “greater separation on the left turn lane to the travel lane.”
Clough says the median between the inbound and outboard lanes of Egan Drive also will be reduced for a greater turning-lane offset.
“Right now if you’re driving inbound on Egan and you want to turn left into Fred’s the left turn lane that you queue up on is not very far away from the lanes that people are driving 60 mile an hour on,” Clough says. “And this will give a little more offset there which will make it easier for people to see what’s going on, and hopefully process the information they see and result in less accidents.”
Regional Traffic and Safety Engineer David Epstein knows the problem first hand and through traffic studies. He developed the project after his annual review of accidents on area roads.
“As I was going through all the numbers the situation kind of cried out for some sort of counter measure,” Epstein says. He often drives that segment of Egan Drive.
“When I’m in the turn lane and there is traffic lined up waiting for the turn, sometimes it is difficult to see oncoming traffic. And between the data that was presented to me and my own personal observations I thought that here was this situation that more or less cried out for some time of attention,” he says.
Speed limits will be reduced during the construction. It will take about three weeks to revise and pave the turn lanes. Project manager Dan Noziska says the lanes will re-open while the asphalt cures, then crews will return about two weeks later to paint the area. Secon is the contractor.
Federal transportation funds will pay for the million-dollar project.