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State decides on roundabout for Fall City

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FALL CITY - After weeks of talking in circles, Washington State Department of Transportation engineers decided to scrap plans for a roundabout on the Fall City-Snoqualmie Road (State Route 202) in front of the Colonial Inn.

Instead, WSDOT will build one further north on SR 203, which will still help to quell traffic at the intersection to the south.

WSDOT traffic engineers claim a roundabout at the intersection that is south of the Snoqualmie River would have a negative impact on nearby businesses.

"It's not feasible to put it in at this time due to the right of way and environmental constraints," said Dave Edwards, WSDOT design project engineer for the roundabout. "It could be something as simple as moving a stop sign after the roundabout is constructed on the north side."

That roundabout would have three legs and a single lane. Roundabouts can move traffic from several directions and give everyone equal access to the intersection. Drivers need only yield at the entrance of a roundabout rather than stop at a stop sign or wait for a light to change.

"We appreciate how seriously you have taken this project," said Ruth Pickering, Fall City Community Association (FCCA) member, at the Nov. 12 FCCA meeting at which Edwards spoke. "We're a very small town and the viability of each and every business is important to us."

Once constructed, the SR 203 roundabout will be the second roundabout in operation in the SR 203 Corridor. The first one was completed at SR 203 and Northeast 124th Street last month.

"People will get used to driving them more as they become better acquainted with how they operate," Edwards said. "Roundabouts operate to increase efficiency."

Construction will begin on the roundabout in spring of 2007 and should be completed by fall of 2007.

* For frequently updated information on the roundabout project, visit: www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/SR202_PrestonFallCity_SR203/.

Staff Writer Melissa Kruse can be contacted at (425) 888-2311 or by e-mail at melissa.kruse@valleyrecord.com.

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