The Downtown Connector Project includes the complete revitalization of the West Alder Street/Olympic Highway North corridor – North 1st Street to West C Street. The estimated $4.3 million dollar project will feature new asphalt streets, sidewalks, streetscapes, street and pedestrian lighting, ADA ramps, stormwater upgrades, and intersection improvements, including the first roundabout in Shelton. The West Alder Street/Olympic Highway North corridor is a principal arterial and National Highway System Route connecting downtown Shelton to the city’s northern commercial and residential districts.
Visit the project documents page to view project plans and additional renderings.
Thanks to strong support from our State Legislative Delegation, the State of Washington Transportation Improvement Board, and partnerships with several local organizations, the City of Shelton is pleased to announce that the Downtown Connector Project is fully funded through a combination of competitive grants, partner contributions, and direct state appropriations.
In November of 2017, the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) awarded the City of Shelton with an Urban Arterial grant for $3.33 million dollars, which covers approximately 70% of the total project cost.
During the 2018 Washington State Legislative Session, legislators allocated $1 million dollars in the supplemental transportation budget for the completion of the project. The City of Shelton is part of Washington’s 35th Legislative District, which is represented by Senator Tim Sheldon, and State Representatives Drew MacEwen and Dan Griffey.
Project partners include three local organizations: Mason Transit Authority, Mason PUD 3, and Mason Conservation District. Details on their individual contributions are listed under the Project Partners section below.
- Total estimated construction cost: $4,334,000
- Total funding received: $4,664,152
- Funding breakdown:
- Transportation Improvement Board Urban Arterial Grant = $3,489,152
- Direct state appropriations = $1,000,000
- Mason Transit Authority = $100,000
- Mason PUD 3 = $50,000
- Mason Conservation District = $25,000
- Cost of construction on the Downtown Connector Project will not have an impact on current utility rates.
- The City of Shelton will not be incurring any additional debt for the completion of this project.
scope of work
The project will include (but not be limited to) the following major items of work:
- New pavement on Olympic Highway North and West Alder Street between West C Street and North 1st Street.
- Construction of a new roundabout at the intersection of West Alder Street and North 1st Street.
- Installation of a new traffic signal system at the intersection of West Alder Street and North 7th Street.
- Replacement of existing curb ramps along West Alder Street with ADA-compliant curb ramps.
- Elimination of the westbound climbing lane on Olympic Highway North.
- Installation of 33 new light poles, including LED street and pedestrian lighting.
- Installation of a new bus stop shelter with solar powered LED lighting at the intersection of West Alder Street and North 8th Street.
- Installation of rapid flashing crosswalk beacons at the intersection of Olympic Highway North and West C Street.
- Conversion of North 8th Street between West Birch Street and West Alder Street to a rain garden – This section of North 8th Street will be permanently closed off to vehicle traffic.
- Installation of new stormwater treatment vaults and replacement of selected catch basins along Olympic Highway North and West Alder Street.
- Replacement of sanitary sewer manholes along Olympic Highway North.
Clearly observed safety deficiencies – supported by crash data spanning from August 1995 through January 2018 – demonstrated the need for improved intersection management at the 1st and Alder intersection. On recommendation from experts at the Washington State Department of Transportation, city officials determined that a compact roundabout configuration in this location is the best option for improving safety, traffic flow, and overall efficiency. The proposed roundabout design is configured to accommodate large vehicles, including the WB-67 interstate semitrailer, the largest semitrailer legally allowed on roadways in the State of Washington without an oversize/overweight permit.
Contrary to many peoples' perceptions, roundabouts actually move traffic through an intersection more quickly, and with less congestion on approaching roads. Roundabouts promote a continuous flow of traffic. Unlike intersections with traffic signals, drivers don’t have to wait for a green light at a roundabout to get through the intersection. Traffic is not required to stop – only yield – so the intersection can handle more traffic in the same amount of time.
Studies have shown that roundabouts are safer than traditional stop signs or signal controlled intersections. In fact, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, roundabouts reduced overall crashes by 37%, injury crashes by 75%, fatality collisions by 90%, and pedestrian collisions by 40% at intersections where stop signs or signals were previously used for traffic control.
In addition to the safety and traffic flow benefits, roundabouts are less expensive to construct and maintain than signal-controlled intersections. Roundabouts eliminate hardware, maintenance and electrical costs associated with traffic signals, which can cost between $5,000 and $10,000 per year. Roundabouts are also more effective during power outages. Unlike traditional signalized intersections, which must be treated as a four-way stop or require police to direct traffic, roundabouts continue to work like normal.
Driving through a new roundabout can take a little getting used to. Check out these helpful tips on how to navigate a roundabout from the Washington State Department of Transportation: https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Safety/roundabouts/default.htm
Visit the Washington State Department of Transportation’s page on roundabouts and the Intersection Safety page from the U.S Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration to learn more about roundabouts.
- Design completion date: March 2018
- Construction start date: May 2018
- Estimated completion date: Summer 2019
- Contractor will have 240 working days to complete the work in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
- Important construction updates will be posted periodically throughout the duration of the project.
- Contractors will work to ensure disruptions are minimized during construction operations and will restore all worksites to their original condition.
- Noise and vibrations levels will be closely monitored throughout the project and will be minimized to the extent possible.
- The protection of trees and shrubbery in the project area will be done in accordance with the City of Shelton guidelines.
- Periodic roadway and lane closures are anticipated throughout the duration of the project. Signs will be on display designating the work area and rerouting traffic around the closure.
- Accommodations will be made for local traffic access throughout the duration of the project.
- There will be some temporary restrictions on parking throughout the project area to accommodate construction operations. Impacts on local parking will be minimized to the extent possible.
- Pedestrian access will be temporarily restricted as portions of the sidewalk immediately surrounding the project area will need to remain closed during construction.
West Alder Street/Olympic Highway North Corridor – North 1st Street to West C Street
We are grateful to be partnering with the following local organizations on several components of the Downtown Connector Project:
Mason Transit Authority
MasonTransit Authority (MTA) is providing a bus stop shelter with solar powered LED lighting on West Alder Street at North 8th Street just below the Shelton Timberland Library. MTA is also reimbursing the City of Shelton for the cost of constructing a bus pullout at the same location.
Mason PUD 3 Mason PUD 3 is installing the 33 new light poles along the West Alder Street/Olympic Highway North corridor featuring modern LED street and pedestrian lighting. The City of Shelton is paying for the cost of the new light poles, and Mason PUD 3 is coving the cost of installation, luminaire arms for each pole, and the LED street and pedestrian lights.
Adequate street lighting provides a number of important benefits, including improved safety for drives, riders, and pedestrians. Street lighting increases safety by making road features such as road alignment, curbs, sidewalks, surface conditions, and other road users visible to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
LED street and pedestrian lights are significantly more energy efficient and are far less expensive to maintain compared to other lighting options.
Mason Conservation District
Mason Conservation District is producing the conceptual design for the conversion of North 8th Street between West Birch Street and West Alder Street to a rain garden, and a list of recommended plants that will be most beneficial to the environment. This section of North 8th Street will be permanently closed off to vehicle traffic.
A rain garden is a planted depression that allows rainwater to runoff from impervious urban areas. The benefits of a rain garden are numerous, including:
- Filtering rainwater runoff before it reaches the local waterways
- Protects communities from flooding and drainage problems
- Replenishes aquifers by increasing the amount of water filtering into the ground
- Enhances the beauty and aesthetics of the community
- Provides habitat for a variety of wildlife