Roach not convinced DOT has put a halt to roundabout plans

A letter recently sent from a state Department of Transportation official to 31st District legislators has state Sen. Pam Roach concerned that DOT isn't abandoning its plan to build a roundabout on state Route 169 at Southeast 416th Street near Enumclaw.

In a May 24 letter to Sen. Roach, Rep. Dan Roach and Rep. Chris Hurst, Lorena Eng, regional administrator for DOT's Northwest Region, wrote the following regarding the roundabout: “After hearing comments from you and other local residents, I have put all work on the roundabout option on hold. We will continue to evaluate other options that will address the safety issues at the intersection.”

Roundabout foes took that to mean the plan was dead, but Roach said DOT's stance leaves open the possibility that a roundabout could still happen in the future.

“There is a big difference between setting aside the roundabout option and taking it off the table,” Roach said. “It's been made clear that our community doesn't want a roundabout on 169. But DOT wants to keep the roundabout idea alive.”

Thursday, Roach and the Plateau Transportation Working Group gathered for a public meeting at the Enumclaw Public Library, focusing on state highways 164 and 169.

During the meeting, Roach asked Eng if the roundabout on SR 169 was being set aside or taken off the table. “She confirmed the roundabout is still an option,” Roach said. “The purpose of the letter seems to have been to placate our citizens if they couldn't say that the roundabout has been taken off the table.”

Consequently, a subgroup of the transportation working group will be meeting with DOT to come up with ways to spend the allocated money for safety improvements other than a roundabout.

“DOT has said we can spend the roundabout money on that intersection. We want to work with DOT on spending that money on that intersection for safety purposes,” Roach said.

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