Bench Road and Highway 24 gets roundabout

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OTHELLO - Work began on a roundabout at Bench Road and Highway 24, south of Othello, on Monday, Feb. 10. The project is supposed to last through April, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation website. At various points during the construction, the intersection will be completely closed and a detour will be in place.

The project, which is going to cost $2.6 million, is being paid for by the state and Adams County.

The intersection came to the attention of WSDOT after Adams County and the city of Othello had complaints from numerous citizens concerning the safety of the intersection. Adams County requested that WSDOT do an analysis of the intersection to verify the need for improvement. The results showed that vehicles turning onto Highway 24 were the biggest cause of crashes at the intersection.

The first complete closure of the intersection will take place for approximately three days when the existing irrigation pipe that crosses under Bench Road is rerouted. At the same time, electrical and domestic water lines will be installed.

In March and April, sidewalk corners will be installed. Flaggers will be controlling traffic. There will be some delays.

A 12-day closure will happen after the sidewalks are installed. The main center island, splitter islands and vehicle aprons will be installed. At the end of the closure, the project is projected to be complete.

Construction will take place Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The speed limit during construction is being lowered to 35 miles per hour. During work hours, travelers through the area can expect delays up to 10 minutes.

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