Boulevard Road intersection will close Saturday as crews finish roundabout

The intersection at Boulevard Road Southeast and 22nd Avenue Southeast in Olympia will be closed for two Saturdays this month as construction crews finish paving a new roundabout.

The closures will take place 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 13 and Sept. 27. Drivers are urged to find alternate routes in the area by using Cain Road, 18th Avenue, Hoffman Road, Morse-Merryman Road and Yelm Highway.

Residents within the paving area will not be able to drive their vehicles in the work zone during these closures, and are asked to park at a nearby staging area, according to the city. Flaggers will assist bicyclists and pedestrians through the area, and emergency vehicles will have access at all times.

The roundabout project began in May and should be completed by the end of the month, said Jim Rioux, project manager with the city’s public works engineering department.

“It’s an amazingly important intersection for getting traffic through this part of town,” Rioux told The Olympian, adding that the project’s goal is to improve safety and traffic flow. “You’ll see a more steady flow moving at a slower rate, and not see people (lining up) for left turns.”

The average daily traffic count for Boulevard Road is about 10,000 vehicles, according to the city. This current project is the second of three roundabouts slated for Boulevard Road. The first roundabout was finished in 2010 at Log Cabin Road. Construction on the third roundabout at Boulevard and Morse-Merryman roads will start in 2016 or 2017, Rioux said.