A traffic signal installation project on State Route 14 on the Washington side of the Hood River Bridge began construction on Monday, Sept. 20.
The project will install a new, three-way traffic signal at the intersection, which will allow traffic enough time to make turns onto SR 14 without waiting for cross traffic to pass.
The signal will improve the existing congestion problems experienced by vehicles coming from Oregon into Washington on the bridge, and it will make left turns from SR 14 westbound onto the bridge approach easier and safer.
The new signal will be controlled by vehicle sensors located in the pavement rather than by a timer, which will help keep traffic flowing.
The project also will install approximately 300 feet of concrete median curb along SR 14 on both sides of intersection.
WSDOT recently awarded this project contract to the Electrical Construction Company of Albany, Ore., which submitted the winning bid of $188,820.
Construction will occur during the day, Mondays through Fridays. There will be intermittent lane closures with flaggers as needed, but traffic impacts will be minimal.
The project contractor is coordinating their work with the Port of Hood River's bridge deck replacement project to avoid additional traffic impacts to motorists using the bridge.
Weather permitting, the new traffic signal will be functional by December 2004.
Advance warning signs will be placed ahead of the construction area, and motorists are asked to please slow down and use caution when driving through the work zone.
Give 'em a Brake! Work Zone Safety Facts:
It is more likely that a motorist will be killed in a highway work zone accident than a construction or maintenance employee. In Washington, 12 motorists are killed for every WSDOT employee killed and 214 motorists are injured for every WSDOT employee injured.
The most common causes of work zone accidents are
speeding and inattentive driving.
Traffic law violation fines are doubled inside work zones when workers are present (RCW 46.61.527).
All motorists must obey the directions of all flaggers or pilot vehicle drivers within the work zone. If you ignore their directions or in any way endanger their lives with reckless driving, you will be charged with a misdemeanor (RCW 46.61.015).
State law dictates that all motorists must yield the right of way to any highway construction personnel, vehicles with flashing yellow lights or construction equipment inside a highway construction or maintenance work zone (RCW 46.61.215).
For more information about the SR 14 Hood River Bridge traffic signal installation project, call the WSDOT Columbia River Gorge Area Engineering Office toll-free at: 1-866-279-0730.