OLYMPIA – The end of the rainy season means drivers will likely encounter road construction crews repairing county roadways. These necessary repairs extend the lifespan of the roadway and enhance driver safety.
From June 28 through June 29, drivers can expect road construction to occur from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the following areas:
- Steilacoom Road SE from Duterrow Road SE to 7th Avenue SE.
- Nisqually Cut off Road SE from 7th Avenue SE to the curve near I-5.
In addition, from June 28 through June 30, drivers can expect road construction to occur from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the following areas:
- Bald Hill Road SE from Rainier View Drive SE to the end of the road (near the county's Deschutes Falls Park).
- Rainier Road SE from the City of Lacey limit (railroad tracks near Talcott Ridge Drive SE) to the City of Rainier (near Minnesota Street N).
- Waldrick Road SE from Military Road SE to Old Highway 99.
- Yelm Highway SE from the City of Lacey limit (near Balustrade Blvd SE) to SR 510.
- Reservation Road SE from SR 510 to Old Pacific Highway SE.
Though the Public Works Department fixes potholes nearly year-round, major road reconstruction activities are only able to occur during the dry season. These repairs can cause up to 30 minutes of traffic delay as construction crews close off traffic lanes.
Drivers are encouraged to seek alternate routes during these times to avoid major delays to their schedule.
"Road construction crews understand delays are frustrating for drivers," says Public Works Director Jennifer D. Walker. "That is why the county tries to limit road construction impacts by working longer hours to get the job done in fewer days. This also translates into lower costs for taxpayers and reduces the number of days we have to close down lanes."
There have been numerous reports of drivers yelling obscenities, becoming aggressive with construction crews, and driving too fast through work zones.
"Worker safety is our number one priority," says Steve Bricker, Construction Manager with Thurston County Public Works. "These crews are hard-working people with families. They could be your neighbor or your friend down the street. We understand delays are inconvenient and we're working hard to get these roads repaired as quickly and efficiently as possible."
Public Works is continuously seeking ways to improve operations and seeks feedback to better understand citizen concerns.
The Washington State Department of Transportation has important tips for drivers encountering summer road construction:
- Slow down and do not exceed the posted speed limit. It's there for your safety and the safety of those around you.
- Be kind to construction workers. They are there helping to keep you safe and improve our roadways.
- Pay attention to the worker directing you and surrounding traffic. Put down your phone when behind the wheel.
- Stay calm and expect delays. Leave early or take an alternative route when possible. No meeting or appointment is worth risking someone's life.
Up-to-date information about road construction and traffic delays are available at the Thurston County Public Works twitter feed @Thurston_PW.