If you use the Liberty Lake I90 exit or entrance, chances are good that you’ve gotten tied up at some point in the wait caused by construction on a new roundabout at Mission and Harvard Roads.

Well, the Washington State Department of Transportation says hang on, because the wait is almost over and construction almost done.
Work is supposed to be complete within another week or so. And when it is, the roundabout is expected to smooth out traffic flow in the area.

With development on the rise in the area, that intersection has been a busy one and due to traffic volumes on Harvard, have traditionally had trouble turning either direction onto Harvard from Mission or the freeway exit. The roundabout will cut the wait time by eliminating the long lines by keeping traffic moving at the intersection.

Roundabouts offer advantages
that signals and stop signs can’t:
  • Low travel speeds – Drivers
    must slow down and yield to traffic before entering a roundabout. Travel
    speeds in a roundabout are typically between 15 and 20 miles per hour.
  • No light to beat
    Roundabouts are designed to promote a continuous, circular flow of
    traffic. Drivers need only yield to traffic before entering a roundabout;
    if there is no traffic in the roundabout, drivers are not required to
    stop. Because traffic is constantly flowing through the intersection,
    drivers don’t have the incentive to speed up to try and “beat the
    light,” like they might at a traditional intersection.
  • One-way travel – Roads
    entering a roundabout are gently curved to direct drivers into the
    intersection and help them travel counterclockwise around the roundabout.
  • Conserved fuel, reduced emissions
    to a study by the Insurance Institute for
    Highway Safety, intersections
    converted to roundabouts

    can reduce delays up to 62-74 percent, cut fuel consumption up to 235,000
    gallons per year and cause fewer emissions and pollutants to be released
    into the atmosphere.
Drivers who are unfamiliar with roundabouts can learn more about them on
the WSDOT YouTube channel.
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