Bus Blocking Islands To Be Fixed At Airport Road and Highway 99 In South Everett

April 7, 2015


traffic island project

WSDOT will add transit queue bypass lanes and make pedestrian safety improvements to the crosswalks and traffic islands on northbound and southbound SR 99 at Airport Road in Everett.

The State DOT today revealed plans to shrink traffic islands that create big backups on Highway 99 at Airport Road in south Everett. Here are the details…

Two islands in Everett will shrink soon, but it has nothing to do with erosion or rising water. Instead, it’s all about creating a swifter current of traffic flow at the intersection of State Route 99 and Airport Road.

Next week, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will begin removing parts of traffic islands on northbound and southbound SR 99 at Airport Road to create a third, bus-only through lane. The islands currently extend into the right lane, requiring vehicles to turn right onto eastbound or westbound Airport Road.

Once the size of the islands has been reduced, about 150 Community Transit buses each day can proceed through the intersection in the right lane. Cars and trucks may still use that lane, but they’ll be required to only make right turns onto Airport Road.

“Right now, buses need to merge into a through lane, then move back to the right immediately after the intersection to reach their stops,” said Project Engineer Mark Sawyer. “After we redesign these islands, the dedicated lane for buses will create more room for all the other vehicles that use this intersection every day.”

WSDOT is partnering with the city of Everett to concurrently upgrade pedestrian amenities at the SR 99/Airport Road intersection. Everett received City Safety Improvement funding from the federal Highway Safety Improvement program for new curb ramps, pedestrian signals with audible tones, improved lighting and upgraded intersection markings. This work will require some sidewalk and traffic-island closures for pedestrians. Signed detours will be in place.

All work will be performed at night to minimize traffic impacts. Drivers should expect lane closures weeknights from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The project has a total budget of $790,000 and will take about six weeks to complete. More than 35,000 vehicles pass through this intersection on an average day.


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