Construction of two roundabouts on state Highway 14 in Washougal remains on schedule to be finished this year.
Thompson Bros. Excavating Inc., a Vancouver contractor working for the Washington State Department of Transportation, started construction in late May on roundabouts at Washougal River Road/15th Street and at 32nd Street.
“Things are going good,” WSDOT spokeswoman Tamara Greenwell said Tuesday. “Crews reopened Washougal River Road after we had it temporarily closed after the roundabout pour.”
Pouring concrete for the Washougal River Road/15th Street is largely complete, Greenwell said. Remaining work includes some asphalt paving and road striping, which could require an overnight closure, she said.
Meanwhile, the roundabout at 32nd Street is a work in progress. Vehicles are using a temporary configuration as Thompson Bros. builds the roundabout.
Greenwell said 32nd Street is scheduled to be closed from Highway 14 north to Addy Street beginning at 10 p.m. Sept. 12 and ending 5 a.m. Sept. 16.
There have been some problems with traffic backing up into the construction zone when a train crosses 32nd Street about 1/4 mile north of Highway 14, Greenwell said.
“We still expect the entire project, both roundabouts, to be completed before the end of the year,” she said. “We’re on schedule, provided the warm, dry weather continues.”
The $7.5 million project aims to improve traffic flow, enhance safety and restore full access to Highway 14 from 32nd Street. WSDOT has prohibited left turns onto Highway 14 at that intersection because of safety concerns.
Roundabouts virtually eliminate head-on and side-impact crashes, which are the most likely to result in fatalities or severe injuries. Statistics indicate that roundabouts can reduce fatal crashes by 90 percent and injury crashes by 75 percent at intersections where there previously were traffic signals or stop signs.