South Aberdeen could be home to a traffic roundabout in the next few years.
In preparing for a 2020 repaving project, the state Department of Transporation studied the Highway 101 and 105 intersection at the base of the Chehalis River Bridge and determined it would be a “good location” for a roundabout.
“The traffic signals are getting old and they have to be rebuilt,” DOT spokesman Doug Adamson said. “These signals are getting tired.”
It came down to either replacing the signals or coming up with another solutation, Adamson said. The roundabout was selected because it would increase safety and could fit into the current intersection’s footprint, Adamson said.
The roundabout would be built with large truck traffic — including fire trucks and logging trucks pulling legal loads — in mind.
Because the project is scheduled for 2020, Adamson said there was no current cost estimate available.
Since 1997, the state Department of Transportation has been installing roundabouts statewide. Currently, there are some 120 roundabouts in Washington State. Most of those are on the western side of the state.
Roundabouts are credited as making intersections safer. Adamson did not know how many accidents have occurred at that particular South Aberdeen intersection.
“Our job is to help people move, but on top of that our job is to help people move safely,” Adamson said.
The City of Aberdeen said it is aware of the pending project and the city plans to support it.
“The City of Aberdeen has been made aware of the WSDOT’s plans to convert the US 101 and SR 105 intersection in South Aberdeen to a roundabout in 2020 and we are supportive of their efforts to improve traffic safety and efficiency,” Aberdeen Mayor Erik Larson said in an email. “Moving forward we will continue to work collaboratively with the WSDOT to improve our local transportation infrastructure.”
Adamson said DOT will hold an open house before construction begins.
“Anybody who wants to talk about roundabouts is welcome to come,” he said.