Roundabout project postponed because of rain

Published on Thu, Jun 10, 2010 by By Tara Nelson

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Construction of a single-lane roundabout at Blaine and Grandview roads has been postponed until July because of wet weather, according to officials from BP Cherry Point Refinery, the company that is funding the project.

The $2 million project was originally slated for construction beginning June 15 but officials say that date has been pushed back to July 12 because of heavy rain.

The project comes after Washington state Department of Transportation officials recognized the high volume of large truck traffic entering and exiting the intersection during peak hours.

According to BP traffic counts, more than 4,000 vehicles drive Grandview near Cherry Point refinery each day and many of those drivers enter or exit the refinery during peak hours.

“We realize that when we’re going through our maintenance periods, we do have a large impact on Grandview Road,” said BP spokesperson Bill Kidd. “We believe this will improve safety at that intersection as well as better accommodate the upwards of 2,000 contractors that we have on site each day.”

Kidd said the roundabout is a “proactive” approach to reducing congestion and improving safety in the short-term as well as accommodate future growth.

It will also have a larger footprint to accommodate the more than 415-plus trucks that use the roadway daily, including those with oversized loads, fuel tankers and other hazardous product delivery vehicles.

Studies have shown that roundabouts are safer than conventional signalized intersections.

A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Federal Highway Administration found that, on average, roundabouts result in a reduction of injury collisions by about 75 percent, a 37 reduction in overall collisions, 90 percent reduction in fatality collisions and a 40 percent reduction in pedestrian collisions.

The project is scheduled to begin July 15 and should be completed by October. During construction at least one lane will remain open for traffic.

BP will also be conducting additional work at the Blaine and Grandview roads intersection that is part of a wetland mitigation project.

That work is scheduled to begin June 19 and will include two open cut trenches and an asphalt patches across the roads to divert storm water into a catch basin near the edge of Blaine Road.