Q: Why does the westbound Interstate 90 onramp off Highlands Drive in Issaquah have a metering light? This area is not very congested, and...
Q: Why does the westbound Interstate 90 onramp off Highlands Drive in Issaquah have a metering light? This area is not very congested, and traffic backs up waiting to enter I-90 even though little traffic is on the highway. And why doesn’t the state crack down on carpool-lane violators? It’s irritating and dangerous to see the volume of cars with only one passenger zoom past those of us who obey the law and wait our turn to enter I-90.
A: The state has a ramp meter at that location to regulate the flow of vehicles entering I-90 to keep freeway traffic moving, said Melanie Coon, a state Department of Transportation spokeswoman.
The reason you sometimes see it working when traffic is flowing freely in the immediate vicinity is that the meters are more effective when used while traffic is building rather than after traffic has slowed to a crawl, Coon said.
Engineers in the state’s Traffic Management Center monitor conditions and adjust meters accordingly. The ramp meter at Highlands Drive is far enough east on I-90 that the state turns it on typically only when traffic is congested in Issaquah and Bellevue.
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Regarding carpool-lane cheaters, Coon encourages drivers to report violators at 206-764-HERO or by visiting www.wsdot.wa.gov/HOV/hero. The state DOT passes the information to the State Patrol, which can boost enforcement at that location.
Q: King County did a wonderful job widening 140th Avenue Southeast in the Fairwood area, between Petrovitsky Road and Southeast 192nd Street. However, the crosswalk and island area at the intersection of Petrovitsky and 140th still isn’t done. The border of the island is partially in place, with pieces of asphalt lying around that make the area ugly. The site has been sitting for months without any attention. When does the county intend to finish the work?
A: Turns out, the 140th Avenue Southeast project is in its final stages, according to Rose LeSmith, a King County Road Services division managing engineer. The county has been coordinating with the contractor to complete the crosswalk and island at that intersection, and by the time you read this, the work should be complete.
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Changes to the signal plans at the intersection delayed completion, but the county says the delay should not have been an excuse to leave pieces of asphalt lying around. LeSmith says her staff will ensure any pieces left at the site are removed before they become a safety issue.
Kirkland: Expect up to three lanes of Interstate 405 in each direction through the Totem Lake area to close all nights except Fridays for months to come so crews can build a new overpass, freeway ramps and a bus station. Closures will begin at 7 p.m., with up to three lanes shut by 11 p.m. All will reopen by 6 a.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. Sundays. For more information, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I405/TotemLake
Bellevue: Bellevue Way between Main Street and Northeast Eighth Street will close from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday and Tuesday for paving. Expect lane closures along the same stretch from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.
Redmond: A culvert replacement on Struve Creek will close 216th Avenue Northeast between Northeast 146th Place and Northeast 150th Street through Friday. Detour to the south via Northeast 133rd Street and Avondale Road, and to the north via Northeast 165th Street, 212th Avenue Northeast and the Woodinville-Duvall Road.
Duvall: Kelly Road Northeast just east of the intersection with Big Rock Road will remain closed through October while the Harris Creek Bridge is replaced. Motorists can detour via 322nd Avenue Northeast, Northeast 139th Street, Odell Road and Big Rock Road.
Karen Gaudette: 206-515-5618 or firstname.lastname@example.org