Long traffic delays as Five Corners roundabout construction hits high gear

The scene looking west on 212th Street Southwest toward the construction site. These cars have been waiting for 10 minutes as crews relocate and mark temporary lanes as construction activity shifts from one part of the site to another.

The scene looking west on 212th Street Southwest toward the construction site. These cars have been waiting for 10 minutes as crews relocate and mark temporary lanes as construction activity shifts from one part of the site to another.

The old saying “it’ll get worse before it gets better” sure fits the current state of traffic flow past the Five Corners roundabout construction site. The project is now in full swing, and it’s more congested than ever.

Traffic is down to one lane in all directions, and as crews move from one part of the project to another, that lane can shift locations several times daily. And each time it does, it has to be re-marked before flaggers can wave traffic through, adding to the wait times.

Flaggers are stationed throughout the site to help keep traffic flowing.

Flaggers are stationed throughout the site to help keep traffic flowing.

If you drive through Five Corners, expect to sit in a lineup of up to 30 cars and wait 10 minutes or more to get through.

Flaggers and police are doing their best to keep everything moving, but with construction equipment in constant motion, scores of workers in the street focused on the job at hand, and heavy auto traffic coming from five directions, it’s a tough job.

“We’re hearing some pretty colorful language from certain motorists,” said Edmonds Police Sgt. Machado, who was managing the traffic flow on Thursday morning.  “But by and large folks are understanding.”
And it’s no picnic for pedestrians either, with temporary crosswalks being relocated several times daily, and 5- to 10-minute waits to cross the street.

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Work areas are cordoned off in the center of the intersection, forcing traffic down to one lane that must be shared by all cars passing through the site.

Pedestrians in the area must also cope with closed sidewalks, temporary crosswalks, and long waits to cross the street.

Pedestrians in the area must also cope with closed sidewalks, temporary crosswalks, and long waits to cross the street.

Your best bet for now: Whether you’re walking or driving, avoid Five Corners if at all possible and use an alternate route. And if you have to pass through the area, be patient and remember that police, flaggers and construction workers are doing the best they can to safely navigate you through the area.

Story and photos by Larry Vogel

 

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11 Comments

  1. Does anybody know why PUD did not go underground with those huge transformers that practically stick out into the roadway. Please don’t say it was a cost factor with as much money as we’re spending on this thing.

  2. For the moment, I assume the many transformers are not part of the art installation. But they also cannot be landscaped out of sight. So Edmonds, welcome the ‘transformer family’ that will greet every driver going around the roundabout. A real plus for Edmonds!

  3. And how does all that time with those car engines running ( which is what the roundabout is supposed to reduce) factor into the overall air quality improvements? Not to mention the heavy equipment exhaust.

  4. Some of us don’t have the luxury of avoiding 5 Corners as we live in the area.

    I ask all drivers to be aware of driveways and intersections and not block them. It’s extremely frustrating to not be able to access your own home or leave it because someone’s parked in the middle of the intersection.

    On Tuesday I called and asked for signage on 212th. We’re still waiting…

  5. Thanks to all of you that have to endure the inconveniences of roadway construction @ 5 corners. Fact is that eventually we all end up having to endure these short-term delays and detours, no neighborhood is exempt from that. Many people find different times and routes for travel, a lot of people complain. The public right-of-way will always need maintenance and upgrade, and what we have is way better than rutted roads and unsafe crossings.

    Drive safe!

  6. Traffic will be the same as it was before this construction of the roundabout…what was gained..all they had to do was put up a traffic light like they have on 8th and Richmond beach dr..works fine there

  7. It would be nice if there was a link in the story to see what the finished project should look like!

  8. Dumbest thing imaginable! What bureaucratic idiot came up with this budget guzzling traffic nightmare? We got along just fine the last 125 years without having to mimic trendy things from other communities. So much for “Have an Edmonds kind of day!” Move to Paris or Rome if you want to go around in circles all day.

  9. It’s always darkest before the dawn. Just nearly everyplace a roundabout has been installed, folks will eventually embrace it and come to appreciate its efficiency, safety, and net benefit to the environment. We need to move away from this love affair we’ve had with signalized intersections for decades now. The long-term cost of maintaining and upgrading a signalized intersection is far-and-away worse than a roundabout; and the potential for fatal collisions at a signalized intersection is exponentially greater. No one enjoys the short-term nightmare of road construction; but the reward will be worth the wait.

  10. I still have not been able to see how the grant funds for this project and/or the Sunset Project fall within the CRITERIA of these grant funds which are for actual NEEDED transportation problems. Just because there is someone who can write an incredible grant application, and as in the case of the Sunset Project actually lie on the part of the application and not say part of the property does NOT BELONG to the City of Edmonds.

    The City of Edmonds needs to have a CODE OF ETHICS and follow the RULE OF LAW. Taking Federal Funds in grants AWAY from some other town or city that actually REALLY NEEDS these funds is against the LAW. This falls under the Federal Highway Administration and Transportation Department and our Mayor with his many years of being involved with Transit, Transportation, etc. is well aware of this.

    This City need to have a CODE OF ETHICS and the City Code up to date!

    And last but not least, I would wonder WHY a city would not AGREE to a CODE of ETHICS unless there are items the city does not want TRANSPARENT. The Attorney General for the State of Washington has called on all of our governments to be TRANSPARENT and the citizens of the City of Edmonds should DEMAND this from our elected officials and their staff. Again, THEY WORK FOR US, not the other way around.

    At the very least, the honest and lawful thing for our city to do would be to RETURN the funds received for the Sunset Project. There is at least one LIE on that grant form and THAT is AGAINST THE LAW. What kind of city do we wish to live in?!

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