Traffic light set to shine on Nov. 7

KINGSTON — In less than two weeks, the fate of the Bond and Gunderson roads intersection will be changed and hopefully, for the better.

Nov. 7 is the magic date when the much anticipated traffic light is expected to be turned on.

This week, crews with contractor Valley Electric of Mount Vernon are expected to finish striping the intersection, putting down the wide white bars that indicate drivers should stop at the intersection.

Washington State Department of Transportation Communications Manager for the Olympic Region Lloyd Brown said traditionally his office prefers not to put down striping until the signals are ready to go. But with the tricky weather patterns this time of year, WSDOT is doing things a bit out of order so it doesn’t have to wait for a dry spell. Crews have installed sensors on the roadway, which trigger the lights to change when vehicles approach the intersection. The electrical wiring was installed Monday and the mast arms, which hold the lights, were erected Tuesday.

The light is expected to be turned on at 10 a.m., Brown said, with Suquamish resident Jim Turner and his family doing the ceremonial flipping of the switch. Turner’s wife, Arlone Elaine Turner, died in December 2004 in a car accident at the intersection. Since then, Turner and his family have conducted a grassroots campaign to make the intersection safer. State 23rd District representatives Beverly Woods (R-Kingston) and Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo) and state Sen. Phil Rockefeller (D-Bainbridge Island), who have been pushing WSDOT to get the light installed as soon as possible, are expected to be present as well.

Several things took place to make the project happen as fast as it did, Brown said.

Equipment was ordered before the contractor was chosen and Valley Electric has had two crews working on the project at the same time. The contract was awarded and executed in one day in early September. The process normally takes a month, Brown said.

“We’re doing everything we can to get this built, just like we said,” he said.

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