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Freeland speed bump removed

Island County road crews removed the temporary crosswalk/speed bump from Main Street in Freeland Tuesday. - Gayle Saran
Island County road crews removed the temporary crosswalk/speed bump from Main Street in Freeland Tuesday.
— image credit: Gayle Saran

What the county giveth it also taketh away.

On Tuesday, Island County road crews removed a combination crosswalk and speed bump from Main Street in Freeland.

The temporary fixture was installed last March near Maple Ridge, a senior housing development in Freeland. It was removed last week after residents nearby complained of the noise created by large vehicles traveling over the bump.

It was installed to slow traffic in the area and provide a crossing area for pedestrians. The complaints about the noise forced its removal.

"Residents in Maple Ridge complained about early morning noise from big trucks traveling over the device," said Joe Araucto, a traffic engineer for the Island County Public Works Department.

County officials had hoped the speed bump would divert traffic traveling into Freeland from Scott Road to the stoplight at Main Street and Highway 525. That was another part of the plan that didn't exactly work out.

"It didn't happen," Araucto said. "Motorists continued using the Scott Road turnoff in spite of the speed bump."

Araucto said the bump was always intended to be a temporary feature on the road and would have eventually been used elsewhere. But at this point, he said he is not sure where "elsewhere" is.

"But I haven't heard if it's going in somewhere else," he said.

The device is made out of recycled tires and cost the county $12,000. In its place, Freeland pedestrians will be getting a permanent crosswalk -- this time painted on the roadway -- in several weeks nearer to the intersection of Scott and Newman roads.

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