Construction is set to begin this summer on a new roundabout in Pacific County. The Washington State Department of Transportation reports the existing signal at the at the US 101/SR 6 intersection in Raymond is at the end of its useful life.

Southwest Region Communications Manager Bart Treece with WSDOT said that due to the light’s age and corrosion from the salt air, the signal system needs frequent maintenance. Instead of replacing the light WSDOT plans to build a roundabout that will keep traffic moving safely through the intersection and reduce long-term maintenance needs.

WSDOT reports studies have shown that roundabouts are safer than traditional stop sign or signal-controlled intersections.

The WSDOT website says that the project will be advertised for construction bids in May 2017, with construction planned for this summer.

Roundabouts reduced injury crashes by 75 percent at intersections where stop signs or signals were previously used for traffic control, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Studies by the IIHS and Federal Highway Administration have shown that roundabouts typically achieve a 37% reduction in overall collisions, a 75% reduction in injury collisions, a 90% reduction in fatality collisions, and a 40% reduction in pedestrian collisions.

Treece said that studies show the roundabouts improve safety and traffic flow at intersections and require less long-term maintenance needs.