By TRIBUNE STAFF
Published May 30, 2012
First Street-Avenue D signal work begins
SNOHOMISH - The city began underground work last week for the traffic signal project at the intersection of First Street and Avenue D.
The contractor began sewer installation work. This phase is anticipated to last through June.
There will be street closures on First Street between avenues C and D and between avenues D and E. Periodic lane closures will happen along Avenue D between First and Second streets, but north-south traffic should be open.
Drivers will be detoured. Check the city’s website, www.ci.snohomish.wa.us, for project updates.
In July and August, the contractor will be grading and installing electrical conduits and sidewalks.
In September through November, the project will be on hold until the traffic pole parts arrive. In December through January, the traffic lights will be installed and pavement work will be done.
The current four-way stop intersection will be replaced with traffic signals and streetscape improvements such as landscaping, stamped concrete crosswalks and decorative street signs will be added.
The city’s 2004 transportation plan lists the traffic light as a top priority because of how poorly the intersection currently performs. The functionality of an intersection is measured by how long of a delay vehicles may experience when stopped at an intersection during the peak rush hour. The performance is rated Level of Service (LOS) A (meaning free-flowing traffic) through F (meaning significant delays).
The intersection is listed as LOS F when the city conducted a 2004 transportation survey, meaning vehicles sometimes wait 50 seconds or longer to cross through the intersection. The signal is expected to improve the intersection’s performance to LOS B.
A staff report prepared for the City Council says that sometimes traffic backs up past the railroad tracks on the south side of the intersection.
Extensive aesthetic improvements are being built as part of the project because the intersection is a main entryway into town.
“Along with the new features produced by the CSO project including the beautiful new pump station building and the First Street improvements, this project will help to create the feel and appeal of a gateway entrance into the downtown community,” the staff report says.
Pedestrian safety was a key consideration in the project design, and it will include a number of traffic-calming features such as curb bulb-outs, large sidewalks, stamped concrete crosswalks and landscaped areas on each quadrant of the intersection. The eastern crosswalk on First Street will be raised to further promote safe, cautious driving through the intersection.
The project cost is $787,915. A state Transportation Improvement Board grant will fund 70 percent to 80 percent of the project, which will take approximately eight months to complete. The city’s portion will be covered with traffic impact fees and utility funds.