For those who dread turning onto Highway 202 from 244th Avenue Northeast near Sammamish because of its many accidents, a surprise awaits...

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For those who dread turning onto Highway 202 from 244th Avenue Northeast near Sammamish because of its many accidents, a surprise awaits: a new traffic signal.

To the delight of the Lake Washington School District, the state Department of Transportation installed a temporary wire-hung traffic light this week rather than wait until next spring.

That’s when the DOT will begin a $1 million project to widen the intersection and add a right-turn lane to help relieve 244th Avenue Northeast’s heavy congestion. It’s among several Eastside projects funded by the 2003 nickel gas-tax increase.

About 11,000 vehicles go through the intersection on an average weekday. Of the 31 accidents there last year, 28 were collisions the DOT says could have been avoided with a signal. The state will replace the temporary light with permanent poles and hardware when construction begins in 2006.

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School-district transportation director Jeff Miles says the signal will help school buses negotiate the intersection safely and stay on schedule.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Q. When drivers exit northbound Interstate 405 to westbound Northeast 85th Street in Kirkland, they encounter a yield sign at the end of the ramp. Are exiting drivers required to yield their lane to drivers attempting to enter the onramp to southbound I-405? Must they yield to traffic in the main lanes on westbound Northeast 85th before merging left into those same lanes?

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Frequently, the westbound Northeast 85th drivers dive into the curb lane to enter southbound I-405 as though they own it, but then, maybe they do.

A. Turns out they do. The yield sign on the ramp means ramp users must yield to drivers already on Northeast 85th Street, said State Patrol Trooper Kelly Spangler.

Q. Outside the entrance to Marymoor Park in Redmond, there are three concrete medians. At the beginning of the first and at the end of the third, turquoise-colored plastic buckets are recessed into the concrete. What are they there for?

A. Those little guys are there to save space in the concrete for potential signposts, said Dave Alm, transportation operations manager for the city of Redmond. That way, the city won’t have to drill into the concrete later on.

“It’s not hurting anything to have them that way until we go back there and take them out,” Alm said.

Early warning

Snoqualmie: The Meadowbrook Bridge on Meadowbrook Way near Snoqualmie will be closed for construction through October. Suggested detours are Highway 202 or Reinig Road/428th Avenue Southeast.

Issaquah: Expect weekday lane closures through August on East Lake Sammamish Parkway near Southeast 56th Street from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and occasionally at night, as crews install a new sewer line. Work will continue along the parkway to Southeast 43rd Way. Then crews will begin work on Southeast 56th Street and Northwest Sammamish Road. The project should be complete by year’s end.

Bellevue: Kamber Road between Richards Road and 137th Avenue Southeast will be closed from mid-June through Sept. 15 so crews can replace culverts and make improvements.

Bellevue: Northeast Eighth Street will close in both directions from 10 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday between 106th Avenue Northeast and 108th Avenue Northeast so crews can perform utility work.

Carnation/Duvall: The Snoqualmie Valley Trail Bridge on the section of trail between Carnation and Duvall near the intersection of Highway 203 and Big Rock Road will be closed until Monday for repairs.

Duvall: A stretch of Kelly Road Northeast immediately east of the intersection of Big Rock Road will close Monday for four months so the county can replace the Harris Creek Bridge near Duvall. Detour via 322nd Avenue Northeast, Northeast 139th Street, Odell Road and Big Rock Road.

Karen Gaudette: 206-515-5618 or