State: U.S. 101 widening proceeds on schedule, on budget
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Traffic on U.S. Highway 101 transitions from the old roadway to a new section of road near the site where a second new bridge is being built over McDonald Creek between Port Angeles and Sequim. — Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The U.S. Highway 101 widening project between Port Angeles and Sequim is on budget and still scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, state Department of Transportation officials said.

The highway is being widened to two lanes in both directions on the 3.5-mile segment between Kitchen-Dick and Shore roads.

“They actually just today finished up a portion of the work on the second bridge,” agency spokesman Doug Adamson said Friday.

Crews last week finished drilling shafts for what will eventually become the westbound bridge over McDonald Creek.

The overall $27.1 million project will provide two lanes of travel in both directions between Port Angeles and Sequim, with a 32-foot median separating eastbound and westbound traffic through the project area.

Traffic was shifted in January from the old lanes onto the new lanes at Barr Road.

The shift was necessary to allow the contractor, Scarsella Bros. of Kent, to remove the 1939 wooden trestle bridge over McDonald Creek and begin replacing it with a modern span.

“By mid-summer, maybe in July, there will be a total of two traffic switches,” Adamson said.

Summer traffic switches will occur between Pierson and Kitchen-Dick roads and between Shore and Barr roads,
Adamson said.

The posted speed limit remains 45 mph during construction. The speed limit will return to its original 55 mph after the work is finished.

The widening project will restrict left turns across the highway from county roads.

Motorists instead will turn right and change course at one of six looping U-turns.

As part of the project, a 130-foot pedestrian tunnel has been installed near Kitchen-Dick Road to provide Clallam Transit passengers a safe way to get across the highway from their bus stops.

Scarsella Bros. Inc. is the same contractor that is building a nearby highway underpass for Clallam County and replacing the Lauridsen bridge for the city of Port Angeles.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 30. 2014 6:47PM
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