Why did the City conduct the corridor study?
Congestion at the I-182 ramp intersection is a key concern for the City. In addition, the long-standing plan to extend Queensgate south of Keene Road to Shockley Road required some planning work to address the design of the Keene Road/Queensgate intersection modifications, along with determining how many lanes would be needed on Queensgate.
What are the options?
There are four intersections called out in the study, three under the City’s control and the other under the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT). The City and WSDOT determined the configuration of the intersections, choosing between signalized or roundabout intersections.
What happens when the Duportail Bridge is built?
The Queensgate Corridor Study was commissioned with the understanding that the Duportail Bridge will be built. The improvements recommended in the study for the City-controlled segments of Queensgate are intended to be a full plan to accommodate future growth. The changes to the I-182 interchange intersections are intended to be near-term upgrades, that when combined with the Duportail Bridge, will provide satisfactory performance for the next fifteen years or more. Completion of the Duportail Bridge remains vital to achieve satisfactory traffic performance in this area.
Does this accommodate for growth?
Yes, the plan addresses current and future growth.
Where is the major traffic problem?
At the eastbound I-182 ramps intersection with Queensgate. This intersection is where the vast majority of congestion in the area originates. The westbound I-182 ramps and Columbia Park Trail also experience poor performance.
How does this impact the businesses in the area?
There are several businesses that may be impacted along this corridor. Increased traffic volumes in this relatively short segment of road, when combined with left turning movements into driveways, can increase accidents and congestion. It may be beneficial to restrict accesses to right-in, right-out on Queensgate Drive between Keene Road and Columbia Park Trail, including Jericho Road. Left turns may also be restricted at Jericho Road.
Why is the City considering eliminating left turn capability for a portion of Queensgate?
Restricting the driveway accesses to right-in, right-out along Queensgate Drive between Keene Road and Columbia Park Trail can improve traffic flow and safety along this corridor. The large volume of traffic, speed, and number of lanes can all contribute to an increase in both the number and severity of accidents when motorists are trying to turn left out of driveways.
Does the choice of intersection type relate to the restriction of left turns?
Yes. Roundabout intersections provide a built-in U-turn capability that reduces the inconvenience of restricting left turning movements. Roundabouts, in general, also are more efficient at moving higher volumes of traffic.
What is the timeline?
The first improvements, the northbound left turn lane at the westbound I-182 on-ramp, was completed in 2016. The Queensgate I-182 eastbound ramps and the Queensgate, Keene Road and Columbia Park Trail Improvements, will begin construction in spring 2018, with completion anticipated in summer of 2018. The Queensgate Extension is developer driven and no timeline has been established.