Spring road work ending, beginning

Motorists traveling up and down Whidbey Island can expect another stoplight to be operating in the very near future.

The new light at Bayview Road and Highway 525 is scheduled to be "turned on" this Wednesday or Thursday, according to Marlin Lensson, a traffic engineer with the state Department of Transportation.

If the schedule holds, motorists will see not only red -- as they have over the traffic delays associated with the light construction -- but yellow and green lights as well before the weekend.

If not, it'll be next week before the light is working. Lensson said the state has a policy of never starting a new light on a Friday, so as not to confuse weekend drivers.

The functioning light will end weeks of traffic delays at the busy intersection, which provides access off the highway to Langley and Bayview. Work started last fall on the $880,000 job. Contractor SRV of Oak Harbor suspended work over the winter, resuming this spring.

Further north, traffic delays are just beginning on a summer-long highway widening project in the Ledgewood Beach area, north of Greenbank. Traffic has been disrupted for the last week and a half, and it will get worse before it gets better, Lensson said.

The west side of the highway in the 2-mile stretch was cleared last fall to allow relocation of power poles and other infrastructure. Contractor Krieg Construction is now clearing the east side. Soon, the last views of Highway 525 with overhanging alder and fir branches will be gone as wide shoulders are added for what the DOT sees as "safety's sake."

"We're hoping to get it done this summer," Lensson said of the $2.5 million road-widening project.

Other than those spots, motorists can expect smooth sailing this summer on Highway 525 and Highway 20, which run the length of Whidbey Island. Lensson said several projects north of Oak Harbor are on the drawing board, but are awaiting funding.

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