Drivers avoiding center lane cause state Route 900 backups

September 14, 2010

By Staff

Not enough drivers use the center lane on the state Route 900 overpass at Interstate 90, causing construction-related traffic backups.

The city Public Works Engineering Department and the state Department of Transportation tweaked traffic-signal timing through the corridor to address the congestion. The agencies made changes to travel lanes in order to accommodate construction of a pedestrian connector across the interstate.

Despite the changes, backups often occur during mid-day and during the afternoon commute along northbound state Route 900. The problem: Many drivers do not use the lane closest to the centerline, causing blockages at nearby intersections.

City staffers plan to track the traffic and make adjustments to ensure smooth travel through the corridor.

Construction on the almost $6 million connector started in August. Plans call for a separate 12-foot-wide pedestrian bridge across the westbound I-90 on-ramps and modifications to the existing state Route 900 overpass to install a 10-foot-wide pedestrian crossing. The project should be completed by April 2011.

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