US-2 Alternatives Analysis and Public Engagement

August 2022 Update:

The City held its second round of technical, local community, and regional working group meetings in July 2022. Project staff are following up with regional stakeholders that were not able to attend for further input.  

Technical Working Group

The technical working group’s discussion focused on confirming the need for additional travel lanes on US2 versus accommodating local demand on new east-west local streets located north of US2. Traffic information was provided demonstrating that new east-west local connectors become alternatives to US2-through trips if sufficient capacity is not provided on US2. WSDOT requested an analysis of multi-lane roundabouts that would utilize the existing roadway width to minimize expansion of US2.


Local Community Working Group

The local working group provided feedback on multiple scenarios for potential roundabout locations on US2 to address concerns related to the left-turn restrictions previously proposed at US2/Mann Rd. The group favored options that preserved full access at US2/Mann Rd. The group remained concerned that turning right and traveling east to make a U-turn to go west would still be challenging during peak traffic periods. The group expressed concerns about available weaving time associated with closely spaced roundabouts. The group expressed concerns about new east-west local connectors becoming alternatives to US2-through trips.


Regional Working Group 

The regional working group meeting was lightly attended so one-on-one meetings were held with members that were unable to attend. The working group members are in general support of improvements in the City of Sultan to reduce travel time across the state via US2. Port and freight representatives identified the importance of designing for trucks. The bicycle representative encouraged the provision of physically separated off-road bicycle facilities. The business representative encouraged the provision of all modes of travel and the ability for all modes to cross US2 as it is currently a barrier to mobility. The tribal representative encouraged the minimizing of aggregated impacts to habitat.

The City conducted an online survey between May 11 and July 29, 2022. The survey asked respondents about their perception of existing conditions, problems they experience along the US2 Corridor through Sultan City limits, desired improvements to US2, and impacts to avoid. The City received 920 responses. The survey is now closed. An overview of the survey responses will be available shortly.

A technical memo and presentation summarizing the City’s Round 2 activities will be given to the City of Sultan’s City Council for discussion at their September 22, 2022 meeting.

City Council meetings are open to the public. Please visit the City Council webpage for more information.

Project Background

In 2020, the City refreshed our approach to addressing traffic congestion by adopting an update to the City’s Transportation Element. Analysis clearly identified the need for additional capacity on US2 to meet future needs. 

In developing a plan for Sultan’s transportation system, our consulting traffic engineers identified improvements to the US2 corridor as the most effective method of reducing congestion. US2 is a state and federal highway, so we are coordinating with the Washington State Department of Transportation to design and construct improvements to meet the long-term needs for the City and region at large.

In 2021, the City's consulting traffic engineers began to study the entire US-2 corridor within the city limits to determine the best approach to addressing current and future traffic conditions. 

In 2022, the City's consulting traffic engineers and City staff began engaging relevant stakeholders in three working groups (technical, local community, and regional) with the goal of establishing consensus for a preferred alternative for improvements to the US-2 corridor within the city limits.

See Stakeholder Working Group section below and documentation to the right.


Alternatives Under Consideration

The City's consulting firm completed the US2 Corridor Study in May 2022. Alternatives under consideration are summarized below:

  • Five-Lane US2 with Signalized Intersections: This alternative would widen the highway to five lanes to accommodate two lanes in each direction as well as a shared turn lane at and between intersections. Major intersections would be developed with traffic lights. This alternative:
    • Requires less right-of-way at intersections
    • Requires more right-of-way between intersections
    • Allows left turns at and between intersections
    • Includes signalized intersections that are less safe than roundabouts
    • Provides congestion relief compared to existing conditions
  • Four-Lane US2 with Multi-Lane Roundabout Intersections: This alternative would widen the highway to four lanes with two lanes in each direction and major intersections would be redeveloped with multi-lane roundabouts. This alternative: 
    • Requires more right-of-way at intersections 
    • Requires less right-of-way between intersections 
    • Restricts left turns between roundabouts and at some intersections requiring U-turns
    • Includes roundabouts that are safer than signalized intersections
    • Provides congestion relief compared to existing conditions
  • Three-Lanes with Single-Lane Roundabouts: This alternative would not widen the highway and would replace existing signalized intersections with single-lane roundabouts. This alternative:
    • Requires the least amount of additional right-of-way at intersections
    • Requires the least amount of additional right-of-way between intersections
    • Allows left turns at and between intersections
    • Includes roundabouts that are safer than signalized intersections
    • Provides the least congestion relief compared to existing conditions
  • Couplet: This alternative would convert the existing Main St from the Sultan River to US2 to westbound travel and US2 to eastbound travel. This alternative:
    • Requires no additional right-of-way through downtown.
    • Requires additional bridge capacity over the Sultan River
    • May impact River Park. 
    • Allows left turns at and between intersections.
    • Includes signalized intersections that are less safe than roundabout
    • Provides congestion relief compared to existing conditions
    • Would change the character of Main Street from a local street to a regional connector.


Stakeholder Working Groups

The technical working group includes agency representatives from the City of Sultan Police Department, Snohomish County Fire District 5, Snohomish County Public Works, Community Transit, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway, and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

The local community working group includes residents of Sultan and individuals who own/operate businesses in Sultan. Thirteen local community participants were invited from a list of individuals who signed up at the US2 Corridor Open House hosted by the City on May 11, 2022, or who expressed interest in participating when completing the online survey.

The regional working group was formed to include representatives from other jurisdictions along the US2 corridor as well as other organizations and entities. Invitations were sent to: elected officials and/or staff representing the communities of Monroe, Gold Bar, Skykomish, Leavenworth and Wenatchee; Tulalip Tribes; Cascade Bicycle Club; Washington Trucking Associations; Stevens Pass Ski Area (operated by Vail Resorts); Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce; Port of Everett; and Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority.

 

  1. Will Ibershof

    City Administrator
    Phone: 360-793-1149

  2. Andy Galuska

    Community Development Director
    Phone: 360-793-1311

  3. Nate Morgan

    Public Works Director
    Phone: 360-793-2262

Public Input Opportunities

US-2 Corridor Improvements Open House

The City hosted an Open House on May 11, 2022, from 6:00 – 8:00pm at City Hall. Thank you to all of the residents that attended. We had over 100 members of the public that stopped by and shared their input on improvements to US2. A summary of comments received at the Open House will be posted to this webpage soon.

Online Survey

The City conducted an online survey between May 11 and July 29, 2022. The City received 920 responses. The survey is now closed. A summary of the survey responses will posted to this webpage soon.

Comments Email

If you have comments on the US2 Alternatives Analysis, you mail email us at: us2comments@ci.sultan.wa.us.

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