[11/2/17] No More 90 Minute Commutes Between Chelan And Manson — DOT Says Paving Of SR 150 Is Finished

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Following two consecutive days of the worst traffic backups the Chelan Valley has ever seen, there is some good news— DOT subcontractor- Central Washington Asphalt has finished paving State Route 150- west of downtown Chelan.

But, don’t celebrate quite yet– the No- See-Um Roundabout project itself is not finished.

Weather permitting, Central Washington Asphalt will be back at work today to pave Spader Bay Road and the multi-use path that parallels State Route 150 from Don Morse Park to the new No-See-Um roundabout.

Once the paving is complete- there is at least two weeks of follow up work, including striping, signage and leveling utility access. Much of that work will take place in the travel lanes of State Route 150. That means additional single lane, traffic control traffic leading to standing backups…but, nothing like we experienced earlier this week.

Those 90 minute commutes on the Chelan Manson Highway are now behind us.

However, up to 20 minute delays are possible Monday-Friday 7am to 7pm leading up to Thanksgiving.

Complicating the work left to be done— the weather.

The 10-day weather forecast for the Chelan Valley shows highs in the 30’s and overnight lows in the teens and 20’s. Very difficult work conditions…

110217 Roundabout Project 1 :06 “…done by thanksgiving.”

That’s Washington State Department of Transportation Engineer, Kevin Walagorski. He’s been working on this No-See-Um project for 2 ½ years.

The project broke ground this last April 17. Funding for the project was secured in 2015 when the Washington State legislature earmarked $6.5 million for final design, right of way and construction funding to build the State Route 150 project.

At the time, the Department of Transportation justified the project by saying even with 100’s of yet to be developed residential lots that will be accessed through the intersection, the average traffic count was already 10 thousand vehicles per day.

Those volumes were producing more and longer delays for side road traffic that resulted in lack of gaps to turn onto the highway. Faced with those conditions, drivers were making decisions that would result in collisions or near misses.

The proposed roundabout was said to reduce collisions, delays and improve bicycle and pedestrian mobility and access to Lake Chelan.

The Washington State Department of Transportation awarded the $5.3 million construction contract to Strider Construction of Bellingham on March 16 of this year.

They broke ground on the No-See-Um Roundabout project just one month later, on April 17th

110217 Roundabout Project 2 :08 “…cleanup work next year.”