LEAVENWORTH — Traffic through Leavenworth during the holiday weekends and warm summer months has turned into a slow-moving parking lot.
A study team has been formed to investigate possible ways to improve traffic flow on Highway 2 and would like public comment, according to the Chelan-Douglas Transportation Council. The public can comment at bit.ly/yourthoughtsUS2 before July 31.
The county is seeing a lot of growth and development in the Upper Valley and traffic congestion is growing, said Jeff Wilkens, Chelan-Douglas Transportation Council executive director. Highway 2 also has geographical constraints that rule out simple fixes.
“I think there are going to be other things that are going to be not even capital or construction projects,” Wilkens said. “There might be recommendations on temporary traffic management techniques to better manage traffic flow during big events or to manage parking a little different.”
The study group is just starting and has a bias toward smaller fixes along Highway 2, he said. It will probably not consider any large fixes that would take more than $10 million or over 10 years to complete.
“Projects that cost tens of millions are achievable,” Wilkens said. “But then it becomes a different question of if you’ve got four or five different big ticket transportation ideas like that within Chelan County, does that compete as a regional priority?”
The state Department of Transportation has also already said it wouldn’t be interested in building a bypass around Leavenworth, he said. It might consider improvements to Chumstick Highway so drivers could avoid Leavenworth.
Some other ideas the transportation council is considering include a second bridge over the Wenatchee River, adding roundabouts in Leavenworth and increasing the length of green lights at stop lights, Wilkens said.
“We’re looking at how can we make better use of and better manage the Highway 2 that we have,” he said.