WSDOT starting safety improvements near Washougal

By Andrea Damewood, Columbian staff writer

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After nearly 100 collisions on a one-mile stretch in just over a decade, construction crews are launching a $5 million project to improve safety on state Route 14 near Washougal, the Washington Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.

Since 2001, 95 collisions have been reported on the section of SR 14 between Marble and Belle Center roads; the safety project straightens five curves along this section of highway.

“Each curve drives a little different; you have to adjust your speed with each one,” WSDOT project engineer Chris Tams said in a statement. “We’re going to make the road more consistent and predictable, which can help drivers more safely navigate the road.”

Crews with Nutter Corporation of Vancouver will shift SR 14 to the north just west of Marble Road and rebuild the eastbound shoulder between Marble and Belle Center roads. Slow-moving trucks often use this section of shoulder to move over and allow traffic to pass. Crews will also repave and replace guardrail.

As of now, drivers can expect single-lane closures, flagging and 20-minute delays during daylight hours, seven days a week.

The project is scheduled to be complete by fall 2013.