There are new changes to scheduling for the U.S. 2 and 97 roundabout project at Easy Street in North Wenatchee.

The day in which detours go into effect has been moved up from next Monday (April 10) to this Thursday (April 6).

That's when Easy Street north-south access will be closed and traffic will be detoured onto Ohme Garden Road to go north and onto Penny Road to go south of the US 2/97 intersection.

In addition, the northbound ramp from SR 285 to U.S. 2 and 97 will remain open for the first phase on construction, which keeps direct access to the Odabashian Bridge in place.

After the first phase is complete (which will take about 15 working days), the SR 285 ramp will be closed and northbound SR 285 traffic will be detoured to the Penny Road off-ramp.

A series of nine maps detailing each individual detour can be found here on a blog dedicated to the roundabout project.

Image of the U.S. 2-97 roundabout at Easy Street from WSDOT
Image of the U.S. 2-97 roundabout at Easy Street from WSDOT

Construction on the project is scheduled to take place six days a week in order to have it completed within a 65-day time frame.

There's been some frustration locally that an overpass wasn't chosen instead for the intersection.

Representatives with the Washington State Department of Transportation say they've done studies that show roundabouts are effective at improving traffic flow, at least in the short term.

A Department of Transportation study in 2012 determined that a roundabout would be a lower cost interim solution that would provide an immediate improvement to traffic flow at the intersection of U.S. 2/97.

The cost of the roundabout will be $6.4 million, which is about one-fifth the cost of building an overpass at the intersection ($25-30 million).

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