Design of Bingen Point Access Project About 30% Done

This is an update to the proposed traffic circle and Bingen Point Access. The large gray portion of the circle will have sloped curbs to allow for trucks with difficult turning radiuses to roll on to the circle and make it through without too much traffic disturbance. (WSDOT Image)

Construction won’t begin until spring of 2020, but the concept for the new access point and underpass, connecting Bingen to the Port of Klickitat, looks incredible.

Devin Reck and Bethany Verma of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) updated the Bingen City Council (BCC) on where the Bingen Point Access Project is in the current design phase.

WSDOT shared a concept video and photo of the traffic circle and underpass project. The images showed additions that were made to the design after the last meeting in August of 2017. The images also highlighted where the City Council needs to make stylistic decisions down the road.

The decisions the BCC will need to make will mainly be about designs for the center of the traffic circle, materials used for the under-side of the overpass, and other scenic and aesthetic items. One idea proposed to City Councilors by WSDOT was putting a feature pond on the south side of the over- pass.

WSDOT provided more details into Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway’s (BNSF) role in constructing the overpass. WSDOT hired HDR Engineering to work in conjunction with BNSF to design the overpass, which they anticipate will be the first piece of the project to be built.

“BNSF and HDR have worked together before so there’s already an established relationship there,” said Reck.

The design package for this project is roughly 30% complete and has been submitted to BNSF for its comments and additions. WSDOT anticipates the design phase of this process will be completed in late fall 2018. Work will begin on the right of way processes in summer 2019.

“The traffic circle is off center to allow for room for trucks to maneuver on the northside of the circle. One of the things we recommend for the outer circle, the gray part (see photo below), is that the curbs be rounded so that it is traversable for large trucks. The wheels can easily roll up on to that area allowing them to make the turn and not impede other traffic flowing through,” said Reck.

An added benefit of the rounded curbs is that it will also make snow removal at the traffic circle easier on the plows.

Regarding the indent in the sidewalk on the NW end of SR14, the idea there is to mesh the sidewalk with the proposed bike lane to create wider traffic lanes for westbound traffic.

WSDOT also assured the BCC that they are working with citizens in Bingen that could be affected by the traffic circle, particularly businesses with driveways on the south side of SR14 and thru streets on the north side.

WSDOT is also exploring creating a walking path from the neighborhoods in Bingen to the Port of Klickitat property, which can be seen by the crosswalks leading to and through the traffic circle.

“I think this will really create an opening or entrance for the community that will draw people in,” said Reck.

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