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County to hold open house to discuss safety improvements on Vashon Highway

The King County Road Services Division will hold an open house from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Monday, May 21 at Chatauqua Elementary School to familiarize residents with proposed safety improvements on Vashon Highway.

Last month, the County began work on a series of safety improvements to prevent run-off-road and cross-centerline collisions. Vashon Highway was selected to receive the safety improvements because it ranks among the top roads in the county for these types of accidents.

Shortly after, the project was put on hold so the County could respond to additional questions and concerns about the project. The upcoming open house, along with additional input the County is receiving, will allow for more discussion about the purpose of the project and what can be done to address concerns regarding project elements.

The Vashon Highway safety project involves the installation of centerline and shoulder rumble strips, warning signs and the removal of roadside hazards. The project is funded by a federal grant designed to reduce collisions on county roadways that have a high incidence of run-off-road and centerline collisions.

Approximately 30 percent of the crashes in unincorporated King County involve run-off-road collisions. From January 2009 through August 2011 alone (the latest available data) 34 accidents on Vashon Highway were reported.

While the project is on hold, residents may see crews out in the coming days restriping sections where the centerline has been removed, and widening shoulders in spots to ensure four-foot widths are maintained for bicyclists.

During the open house, residents will have an opportunity to hear more about the safety project and ask questions. The Road Services Division anticipates it will be able to update residents on the status of the project by mid-June.

For more information about the project, visit the County’s High Risk Rural Road Program website. For questions or comments about the open house, email or call (206) 263-9770.