On Wednesday construction crews on state Route 14 will switch on a new, temporary signal at Sixth Street in Washougal.
According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, while the overall goal of the SR-14 Camas-Washougal widening and interchange project is to eliminate signals and improve traffic flow, the temporary signal at Sixth Street is necessary to provide safer, easier access to Camas and Washougal when crews shift traffic and close local intersections during stage 2 of construction.
Stage 2 begins in March, and includes widening SR-14 to four lanes from the end of the West Camas Slough Bridge to just east of Union Street, raising the entire highway more than 25 feet above where it stands today, and building two half-interchanges at Union and Second streets.
These major tasks require all traffic to be shifted to the new frontage road on the south side of SR-14, which was built as part of stage 1, along with two roundabouts.
The intersections at Union and Second streets will also be closed periodically so crews can connect the streets underneath the newly raised highway.
The signal at Sixth Street will be in place until late this year. Drivers will be able to turn in every direction to continue accessing SR-14 and Camas and Washougal.
The $57 million safety improvement project kicked off in June 2011 and is expected to take approximately two years to complete.
When finished, Highway 14 from the West Camas Slough Bridge to just east of Union Street will be widened from two to four lanes, and there will be a median barrier from Northwest Sixth Avenue in Camas to Sixth Street in Washougal.
In addition to the two half-interchanges, there will be a new bridge — built parallel to the current bridge — that will carry westbound traffic at the east end of Lady Island. Today through Thursday, there will be nighttime single lane closures on the West Camas Slough Bridge, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
For additional construction information and time lines, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR14/CamasWashougal/default.htm.