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Old Olympic Highway to be widened

Preliminary work has begun for resurfacing and widening a three-quarter-mile section of Old Olympic Highway between the Agnew Grocery and North Barr Road next summer, said Clallam County Engineer Ross Tyler.

"This is a continuation of the project between Lewis Road and Spring Road that finished in 2008," he said.

The $1.1 million project should begin in June or July and last about two months.

It includes pulverizing and replacing the asphalt, widening the roadway to 40 feet to add 8-foot shoulders and realigning it slightly to the south.

Tyler said the realignment is necessary because relocating the Clallam County PUD power poles that are to the north is too expensive.



Ditching the ditches

The new shoulders will be built over the top of the existing roadside ditches.

"We're very fortunate we don't need a ditch in that stretch because of the soils and topography."

Preliminary engineering and right of way acquisition are being done now, Tyler said.

They are the first two steps prior to going to bid on a road construction project.

Tyler said the project has been on the county's six-year road plan for years.

The new shoulders will allow disabled cars to get completely off the roadway so other cars needn't cross the centerline to pass, he said.

That will be important as traffic increases along the route, especially during and after the U.S. Highway 101 widening project, he said.



Widening U.S.

Highway 101

That $53.8 million project will widen about three miles of U.S. Highway 101 to four lanes between Kitchen-Dick and Shore roads and add a 40-foot median.

Construction is scheduled to begin by May 2012 and be completed by March 2014.

The new design includes six "indirect left turns" or protected U-turns: two between Shore and Barr roads, two between Sherburne and Pierson/Dryke roads, one for westbound traffic at Pierson Road and one for eastbound traffic at Kitchen-Dick Road.

Drivers won't be allowed to cross the highway at Shore or Barr roads.

Tyler said that means people living north of U.S. Highway 101 probably will use Old Olympic Highway instead and the increased traffic will require the wider roadway.

Property owners will be able to mow to its edge but the county will buy easements to prohibit building anything adjacent to the newly widened highway, Tyler said.

"What we are buying is more 'clear zone,' the area to correct or stop before hitting a tree."

Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@sequimgazette.com.

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