Thursday, December 3, 2020

Newly installed left-turn on SR 503 north of Battle Ground helps improve safety

By Kathryn Garcia-Stackpole

It's no surprise that we're seeing more people using State Route 503 – also known as Lewisville Highway – north of Battle Ground. New housing opportunities, proximity to outdoor recreation and economic activity in the area make Clark County our state's fourth-fastest-growing county.

The intersection of SR 503 near Northeast 299th Street and Northeast McBride Road has become increasingly difficult for people to get into and out of as more than 12,000 vehicles now travel this stretch of highway each day. This added congestion is also resulting in more collisions.

We knew something had to be done.
A low-cost solution
Sometimes, a relatively low-cost, somewhat simple solution can make a big difference.

In this case, adding left-turn lanes on the highway.

Our project team studied the area, including traffic and collision data, and gathered feedback from the community to develop a solution within the available budget.

Two left-turn lanes were added in late September at the intersection. These new turn lanes help limit possible conflicts between through traffic on the two-lane highway and vehicles slowing to turn. These also help reduce potential rear-end and side-impact crashes as well as provide refuge for left turning traffic while promoting lower speed through the intersection.

By making the most of the existing infrastructure of the highway, crews were able to provide left-turn  lanes in both directions on SR 503 at the intersection by reducing the shoulder width, beefing up the shoulder pavement depth, removing the centerline rumble strips and restriping the existing roadway.

Done ahead of schedule
Working within COVID-19 safety protocols has made construction and maintenance work even more challenging. State-mandated furloughs, limited budget and increased safety precautions all mean road work may move a bit slower than usual. But in this case, our project team was able to complete this project ahead of schedule, needing just four days to open the new turn lanes and completing the work for just $70,000.

As our video above shows, we're already seeing good safety improvements from the project and feedback from the public has been positive. Road work during the time of a pandemic is a big challenge but we're proud of the work our project team did in working with the public to develop this low-cost solution to an ever-busy traffic area!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

We live in Yacolt (since 1995). These left-turn improvements are a huge contribution to safety on this road. Unfortunately no one can legislate against stupidity and I would urge the State to raise the driver license minimum age and improve driver education standards. In rural Clark County, young male pick-up drivers are a major hazard to their own and other peoples' lives.

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