Traffic snarl surprises work crews

DOT reevaluating getting Port Angeles work done

PORT ANGELES — Apologies. We are taking measures to see that it doesn’t happen again.

That’s the word from the state Department of Transportation after roadwork just west of Golf Course Road on U.S. Highway 101 backed up traffic coming into Port Angeles from the east for several miles on Tuesday morning.

Workers had blocked off the left lane on Front Street to allow them to seal cracks in the pavement.

Traffic was slowed to a crawl for many miles, making some late for work or appointments by as much as a half hour to 45 minutes.

“We want to apologize to those who were late,” said Doug Adamson, DOT spokesman.

“That type of backup was not expected of the work we were doing. After we realized what was going on, the crews pulled off the road.”

Adamson said that crew members are evaluating how to get the work done without causing a traffic snarl.

“We do our best to keep people moving while we fix the road,” he said. “We know what it’s like to be late to work.

“Our whole job is to keep people and commerce moving. People were late and delayed, and that’s not what we want to have happen,” he said.

“The bottom line is, we’re going to take a look at it” and either pull crew off the roadway earlier in the day or change the timing of the work.

One issue DOT is dealing with is that the department is playing catchup. Work that generally would be accomplished in the spring, before the tourist season, was delayed because of wet weather.

“A lot of things came together to create an unintended situation,” Adamson said.

“We want to fix the road, but we don’t want to make anyone late.”

The roadwork was not announced in an alert because it was not expected to cause a big problem, Adamson said.

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Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].

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