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Improvements coming to Highway 101, Ensign intersection

Cars queue up on Ensign Lane at the intersection with Highway 101. (Cindy Yingst)
Thursday, September 13, 2018

Concerns about excessive collisions at what has become the city’s busiest intersection has prompted Oregon Department of Transportation to make some changes there this weekend.

An ODOT crew will remove the flashing yellow arrows at the Highway 101 intersection with Ensign Lane. Beginning Saturday, the north/south left-turn lanes on 101 will be “protected only,” which means travelers must wait for a green arrow before turning. There will no longer be “permissive” left turns with the flashing yellow arrows.

The city of Warrenton asked ODOT to evaluate how the flashing yellow arrows were working and the results made it clear a change was needed, according to Lou Torres, ODOT’s public information officer.

There were seven crashes caused by turning movements at the intersection between May 2015 and May 2016, the latest information available. Since Walmart opened, the city has noticed a further increase.

While most of the crashes during the study year caused only property damage, ODOT’s policy is to run “protected only” left-turns if there are more than five crashes in a 12-month period.

Last month, Warrenton City Commission delayed taking action on a zone change near the intersection because of concerns about traffic problems there.

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