What started as a community discussion about “intersection improvements” more than two years ago is now a wrap. The road work at Camas’ Lake Road and Everett Street intersection is now complete, and the community has a fully functioning traffic roundabout connecting its north and south shores.
“From the start, the primary goal was to improve safety and efficiency for all users and modes of travel. The previous intersection was causing significant delays in all directions, and pedestrians and cyclists had limited options for crossing,” said Camas Project Manager Jim Hodges. “We now have an intersection free from frustrating traffic backups that offers safe crossing options, beautiful landscaping, and access to local homes, businesses and recreation.”
Highlights of the roundabout include a reduction in traffic congestion and an increase in operational safety. The design and function of the new Lake-Everett intersection was guided by extensive public involvement, including stakeholder interviews, Project Advisory Committee meetings, online community surveys, public open houses and participation invitations mailed to all Camas residents’ homes.
Shaped in part by the community’s feedback, the Camas City Council selected a roundabout design, to be anchored by a historic American chestnut tree identified as a community priority. A sapling was also discovered during the landscaping process and has been moved nearby for continued health and growth.
“We could not be more pleased with the number of community members who turned out to take part in different ways,” said Camas Mayor Barry McDonnell. “I felt our collaboration was cordial and productive, with longstanding community members working hand in hand with those new to our community. For me, this roundabout signifies a true community effort.”
Although the project experienced a brief delay in the spring of 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, it finished on schedule and under budget. The total project cost was estimated to be $8.1 million, including a significant contingency for unexpected expenses. The city said last week that final costs will be less than $6.9 million.
The roundabout’s construction was fully funded through a combination of sources, including a state grant for $2.8 million and a low-interest state loan for $4.1 million.