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City Hall: Town Center Traffic Signals Finally Ready

After delaying the project for two years due to the economic slowdown and faulty parts from the signal manufacturer, SE 27th Street will finally gain two traffic-light signals to manage the flow of traffic through the Town Center.

Two new traffic signals in the Town Center business district are  on SE 27th Street at 77th and 78th Avenue Southeast.

Traffic signal engineers were within weeks of completion in early November when a problem was found in the electronic signal control system that required sending it back to the manufacturer for correction, according to a city press release.

The problem has been corrected and the controllers have undergone standard testing without a problem. The controllers were installed earlier this week following a delay last week due to inclement weather and the remaining electrical work is underway.

If all goes as planned, the signals will be turned on early next week if not sooner — approximately two years later than originally planned. The city said it initially delayed construction in 2009 due to the economic downturn, which lowered expected traffic impacts from the neighboring mixed-use projects and . The project also failed to win grant funding from the state's Transportation Improvement Board (TIB), Urban Arterial Program.

"The City thanks residents and business owners for their patience as this long awaited project nears completion," the statement read.

When completed, the traffic signals will improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety at the intersections.

For more information about Mercer Island's traffic signals go to http://www.mercergov.org/trafficsignals.

(Ed. Note: An earlier version of this story misstated that a delay in state funding delayed completion of the traffic signals project. To clarify, the city applied for, but did not receive, grant funding for the Town Center signal project through the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB).)

Ken Glass January 26, 2012 at 06:53 PM
A new definition of "speed of light": "If all goes as planned, the signals will be turned on early next week if not sooner — approximately two years later than originally planned."
Kendall Watson January 26, 2012 at 07:30 PM
You've got to feel for City Engineer Patrick Yamashita, though. Mercer Island is small enough that they have to rely on several outside agencies (with differing agendas) to get stuff like this done. Kinda like herding cats, I guess. Still, this kind of thing can be very frustrating for residents (as Sam Hickman made clear at the City Council Jan. 3 meeting, referring to the death of Larry Lunden).

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