WSDOT to fund $1.5 million of new Bethel Avenue roundabout

City study states 240 accidents occurred along Bethel Corridor between 2014 and 2018

PORT ORCHARD — The Washington State Department of Transportation has confirmed it is providing a $1.5 million grant to the City of Port Orchard for a new $2.8 million roundabout at the corner of Bethel Avenue and Lincoln Street.

City officials said in a Jan. 5 news release that the federally appropriated funds are part of the state’s City Safety Program designed to reduce serious and often fatal injury crashes on city and town streets using engineering improvements and countermeasures.

The City of Port Orchard submitted its local roadway safety plan to improve traffic safety in March that identified the busy corner of Bethel and Lincoln as having the highest number and most severe collisions between 2014 and 2018. City officials said more than 240 accidents occurred along the Bethel Avenue corridor during that timeframe. According to WSDOT, roundabouts reduce collisions by up to 75 percent over intersections with stop signs and traffic signals.

“We’ve been planning for necessary traffic improvements on the Bethel Corridor for a number of years,” said Port Orchard Mayor Rob Putaansuu.

“The Bethel Corridor is a high priority for the City and we will be pursuing additional grants to make much-needed improvements,” he said. “The City Safety Program is the first step toward our goal of improving the entire commercial corridor.”

Construction is anticipated to be completed by November 2022.