PORT ANGELES — Clallam County has vacated rights of way on small sections of Chicken Coop and Zaccardo roads, an administrative step needed to finalize the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s intersection improvement in Blyn.
Commissioners Bill Peach and Randy Johnson voted Tuesday — with commissioner Mark Ozias excused — to pass a resolution that divests county rights of way on former portions of the county roads near U.S. Highway 101 that are no longer being used.
Working with the county and the state Department of Transportation, the tribe in 2017 closed the Zaccardo Road intersection, connected Zaccardo Road to Chicken Coop Road and built a new, safer highway intersection for Chicken Coop Road.
“The tribe saw a need to clean up this intersection and make it a little bit safer,” County Engineer Ross Tyler told commissioners Tuesday.
“It’s actually been in operation for about a year now, and it works very well.”
The tribe completed the project in December 2017, ending a decade-long effort in planning, design, permitting and construction to help reduce potential safety hazards on a stretch of highway adjacent to tribal land.
“When Highway 101 was constructed, these were old county roads that attached to Highway 101 only 50 or 60 feet apart and at weird angles,” Tyler said Tuesday.
Chicken Coop Road now connects to U.S. Highway 101 at a standard, 90-degree angle. Turn pockets and an acceleration lane were added.
The tribe purchased new right of way and designed and built the intersection with county Road Department oversight, Tyler said.
Asphalt has been removed from the vacated portions of county rights of way. Vegetation has been planted on the old intersections.
“We have to do this process so that the tribe can have their ownership and the county can have its ownership and the state can have it’s ownership cleaned up,” Tyler told commissioners.
Annette Nesse, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe chief operations officer, was the only member of the public to testify in a public hearing Tuesday.
Nesse thanked the county and the state Transportation department for working with the tribe on the project.
“Thank you for working with us,” Johnson responded.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.