About $6 million of improvements — including construction of a traffic roundabout — are being designed to boost safety along Mullen Road Southeast from Timberline High School to Carpenter Road Southeast in Thurston County.
About 10,000 vehicles a day use that stretch of the road, according to Matt Unzelman, a civil engineer with Thurston County Public Works. It’s also heavily used by pedestrians and bicyclists.
“It’s a direct connection to three schools,” he said. “It’s just in a very fast growing part of the county.”
Public Works staff will host an open house where they will discuss renovation plans from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Timberline, 6120 Mullen Road SE.
“We’re still early in the design phase of the project,” Unzelman said. “And that’s why we’re trying to get comments from the public, because we can incorporate that into the design.”
Construction is slated to take place in 2018 and 2019. The project will include adding a roundabout at Mullen and Carpenter, bike lanes, sidewalks and street lights on both sides of the road. Left-turn lanes also will be added at the Rumac Street Southeast and Glen Terra Drive Southeast intersections.
The work will be paid for with a mix of federal, state and local funds, and will extend improvements the city of Lacey recently completed on its portion of Mullen Road, Unzelman said.
“This section of Mullen Road is the missing link for a road with sidewalks and bike lanes between College Street and Carpenter Road,” he said.
During the open house, attendees will be able to view preliminary plans, ask questions and provide feedback on what they’d like to see incorporated in the project.
“If they live along the project limits, we can talk with them about what’s going to happen in front of their place,” Unzelman said.
David Warning, principal at Woodland Elementary School on Carpenter Road, said he supports the project. He’s especially happy about the new roundabout.
“It’s a very dangerous intersection, and we hear about it from concerned families all the time,” he said. “We have children who live right across the street that we have to provide a bus for because they can’t walk across the street safely. The cars go really fast there, and we’ve had multiple bus back-ups due to the many accidents that occur in that area.”
Thurston County Public Works staff will host an open house on the Mullen Road improvement project from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Timberline High School, 6120 Mullen Road SE, Lacey.