Paving project backs up U.S. 101 traffic east of Sequim

SEQUIM – A paving project along a half-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 101 west of Sequim Bay Lodge backed up traffic for miles and created long delays on Wednesday.

And there’s one more day to go.

State Department of Transportation workers will be back on the job today from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., said Don Heikkila, assistant maintenance superintendent in the agency’s Port Angeles office.

As on Wednesday, traffic will be restricted to one alternating lane, beginning just past Palo Alto Road and continuing to the Sequim Bay Lodge, Heikkila said.

The delays created more foot traffic – although not more business – for the lodge at 268522 Highway 101.

“We’ve had a lot of people stopping to use our restroom because they’ve been stuck in traffic,” said Teresa Murray, manager.

“They don’t want rooms. They just want to use the restrooms.”

During a Wednesday drive to Seattle, Port Angeles resident and Peninsula Daily News columnist Karen Griffiths said she spent an hour traveling between Sequim Avenue and Happy Valley Road.

Electronic signs along Highway 101 east of Sequim warned drivers of the impending project, and told them to expect 20-minute delays.

The two-day $12,000 project is being funded by the Port Angeles office’s maintenance budget, Heikkila said.

“We’re digging out old pavement and doing some asphalt grinding,” he said.

“We’re trying to extend the roadway life until it comes up for another repair contract.

Pavement patching may be done next week in front of the 7 Cedars Casino, 270756 Highway 101, Heikkila said.

It will use an oil and rock mixture, similar to a chipsealing process, instead of the more intensive pavement grinding being done now, he said.

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