SEQUIM — A roundabout at Woodcock Road and Sequim-Dungeness Way seems likely for 2021, according to Clallam County officials.
Clallam County Engineer Ross Tyler said the project is taking shape as part of the county’s six-year Transportation Improvement Program.
“We’ve been kicking it around for a few years,” he said.
Tyler said that at this juncture Clallam commissioners would need to be the ones to stop the project, but his indicators from them say to “get it done.”
“There’s certainly those who would prefer stop lights,” Tyler said. “They were shocked to learn that it would cost $4 million [but] that’s the reality. It’s why Clallam County doesn’t have stop lights.”
Under the county’s plan, the roundabout would cost $1 million, which Tyler said is a high estimate.
“We’ve never built one before, so we’re throwing high numbers at it,” he said.
“I think we can do it for less, and we’ll have some better numbers by the fall. A roundabout is a reasonable solution for safety there.”
Commissioner Mark Ozias said they put the roundabout in plans following community input to improve safety at the intersection.
Recent talk of the roundabout and other Sequim/Dungeness projects in unincorporated Clallam County followed a June 17 listening session.
Ozias said they were measuring community interest in the roundabout and other projects including safety improvements on Medsker and Evans roads.
Tyler said he’s fielded concerns about widening Medsker Road since he’s worked for the county.
“It’s just not reasonable to widen it,” he said. “The usage is pretty local.”
However, community complaints often come about large trucks trying to navigate it and there’s no centerline on the road, county staff said.
Ozias said there is a lot of interest in improving striping and restricting the size of trucks and trucks with trailers.
“From the road’s perspective, we can put some signage on it north and south asking truck drivers not to turn,” Tyler said. “They can go to someplace like Taylor Boulevard because [Medsker] is not someplace you want to take your [semi-truck].”
Medsker Road hasn’t been striped for many years because of the size of county equipment, but Tyler said he’s been in touch with the city of Sequim about possibly partnering to paint fog and road stripes.
“It’s something we’ll do this construction season to put some kind of stripes on it,” he said.
While nothing final is being proposed by county staff at this time, Tyler said, one farmer is seeking a possible solution on Evans Road to cut down on traffic wrecks, litter and damage to his farm.
Tyler said Bob Reandeau wants to close public access from Sequim-Dungeness Way along Evans Road to just past his farm near Davis Sand and Gravel.
Tyler said consensus among those at the listening session was to leave the intersection alone because people enjoy the road.
Ozias said he heard Reandeau’s concerns that Evans Road isn’t up to the county’s standards, it’s a dangerous intersection, he sustains a lot of crop and equipment damage, and sees a lot of trash.
He said the county staff’s goal with its comprehensive plan is to support local agriculture and support working farms.
“Should a formal request come forward, we have a lot to consider,” Ozias said.
Tyler said the county holds several public meetings before commissioners adopt the final Transportation Improvement Program in the fall.
He said another public meeting will be held in the Sequim area this fall.
Reandeau could not be reached for comment.
For more information about the Clallam County Roads Department, call 360-417-2379.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].