South George Washington Way Improvements

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Project Description

The City is in the process of planning improvements for the intersection at George Washington Way/Aaron Drive/Columbia Point Drive. George Washington Way has more than 42,000 vehicles daily and this intersection is the bottleneck from which all of the congestion on George Washington Way begins. The project’s goals are to plan improvements that will minimize congestion, increase pedestrian safety, and decrease traffic accidents taking into account both current traffic volumes and future traffic growth.

Background Studies

Three Options

Option One, referred to as the expanded footprint option, would make the existing intersection larger by adding three more lanes on George Washington Way and two lanes on Adams Street. This option would have a significant impact to the private property on both sides of George Washington Way.

The consultant has created a video to show the current traffic conditions compared to the proposed Expanded Footprint, option one, improvements.

Option Two, referred to as the “Split T Configuration,” involves constructing a new intersection closer to I-182 that would serve the west side of George Washington Way. Access to this new intersection would be via a new road along the current shelterbelt that runs parallel between Aaron Drive and Abbot Street. This option would add one lane on George Washington Way so that there would be two southbound left turn lanes. This option would change driveway access to several businesses on Aaron Drive because it would require closing off Aaron Drive just south of the new street. The project would also impact private properties, but to a far lesser degree than the expanded footprint option.

The consultant has created a video to show the current traffic conditions compared to the proposed Split T Configuration, option two, improvements.

Option Three is a variation on the “Split T Configuration” option described above. Rather than using the new street to connect traffic to Aaron Drive this option would connect directly to Aaron Drive. This option would require purchase and relocation of an existing business, but would otherwise have little impact on other private properties.

The consultant has created a video to show the current traffic conditions compared to the proposed Split T Configuration, option three, improvements.

All three options will include features to address pedestrian safety.

Public Outreach

The City of Richland hosted a well-attended Public Open House in June 2015 to present three options and collect input from commuters and residents.