Sedro-Woolley planning new east-to-west traffic corridor

July 15, 2018

SEDRO-WOOLLEY — In the next decade or so, the city of Sedro-Woolley may have a new east-to-west road that local traffic can use instead of Highway 20.

That’s the major focus of the city’s latest six-year Transportation Improvement Plan, which the City Council passed June 27.

The idea is to improve existing segments of Jones and John Liner roads and build new segments of roads to complete the alternate route. That would include building a bridge over BNSF Railway tracks.

This concept has been on the city’s wish list for years, but has risen to a higher priority as other major projects have been completed and plans to redevelop the Sedro-Woolley Innovation for Tomorrow (SWIFT) Center have progressed, said Sedro-Woolley Public Works Director Mark Freiberger.

Work is underway now to repair a damaged section of Fruitdale Road, repave much of the road, build sidewalks and install a roundabout at the entrance of the SWIFT Center.

Following that project, addressing increasing traffic on Highway 20 is the next most important road project for Sedro-Woolley to complete to support development at the SWIFT Center, Freiberger said.

“What this project does is it provides another east-west corridor in Sedro-Woolley that will allow local traffic mainly to avoid Highway 20,” he said. “It’s just another way of getting traffic around and taking some pressure off the highway.”

Highway 20 is a major roadway through the city that also connects with Cook Road and Highway 9. About 20,000 vehicles per day use Highway 20 locally, Freiberger said.

To divert some Cook Road traffic away from Highway 20, the project would extend and connect Trail and Garden of Eden roads, creating a main route from Cook Road to Jones Road.

“This will provide a way for the local traffic, school buses and things, to get around town without having to use that central part of Highway 20,” Freiberger said.

The city has hired consultants to do a scoping study for the corridor project.

To pay for the study, the city will use $100,000 from the local Transportation Benefit District and is waiting for state approval of a Skagit Council of Governments grant for another $100,000.

The city’s latest Transportation Improvement Plan estimates the corridor project could be completed by 2026 if grant funding is made available.

Update hourly