Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
June, 2014
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 Ready to Go!

Yelm Highway Construction Slated for May.

After years of study, design, permit applications and community meetings, the Yelm Highway Project is ready to break ground this spring. With an estimated May start date, the project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2011.

Project Highlights

  • Two through lanes in each direction between Henderson Boulevard and Rich Road.
  • Bike lanes, sidewalks and pedestrian crossings
  • Roundabouts at Boulevard Road and Brassfield Street will increase capacity and safety and reduce congestion.
  • Planter Strips/Islands will add greenery and beauty to the site.
  • Planting areas will be used for storm drainage, signage, and power poles. The islands will minimize traffic conflicts at several intersections and driveways.
  • U-Turn Modifications: Roundabouts at Henderson Boulevard and Rich Road will allow passenger vehicles to make U-turns at those locations. This will eliminate left turns in key locations which, in turn, will minimize congestion and increase safety.
  • Stormwater Treatment: Stormwater from the improvements will be collected, treated and infiltrated in compliance with current standards.
  • There will be no significant impacts to the lake or adjacent property.
  • Noise Walls will be constructed in several locations (where feasible) to minimize impacts to adjacent properties.


Construction Impacts Motorists can expect delays while lane restrictions are in place at various times throughout construction. “Traffic delays are inevitable in a project of this size,” says Project Engineer Theresa Parsons, “however, the county and our contractor will do everything within our power to keep delays to a minimum. We will give advance notice of significant delays whenever possible. We advise commuters to build in extra time into their travel plans, and to consider alternate routes when possible.”

Funding The $10 million road portion of the project is funded from several sources: State Transportation Improvement Board, $3.9 million; Thurston County Roads Fund, $3.5 million; federal funds, $1.6 million; City of Olympia, $506,000; County Mitigation fund, $444,000, and Intercity Transit, $15,000. In conjunction with the county project, the City of Olympia will upgrade sewer and water utilities in the area.

The county designed the improvement project following the “East-West Corridor Study,” conducted in 1998 for Thurston County and its cities. “The study identified Yelm Highway as the most feasible east-west corridor in the county, provided that it be widened from two lanes to four and include other improvements,” says County Engineer Dale Rancour.

Project Details and Updates In addition to notices in local media, the county will use reader boards, fliers, the web and Twitter to keep people informed. Up-to-date information is available at a special Yelm Highway Project Blog. Project details are also available from: Project Coordinator Theresa Parsons, 360-754-4580.

By Keith Eisner

Road work ahead for Yelm Highway. Road work ahead for Yelm Highway.

Construction should help with back ups. Construction should help with back ups.

One of the project map overlays. One of the project map overlays.