Submitted by Washington State Department of Transportation
Cover Photo by Doug Walker: SCJ Alliance Project

Relief is on the way for travelers who use the Interstate 5 Rush Road exit near Napavine, where brake lights and backups have become common during peak travel times.

In the coming weeks, crews from the Washington State Department of Transportation and the city of Napavine will remove the westbound stop sign at the intersection of Hamilton and Rush roads. The change converts the three-way stop to a two-way stop, alleviating a main traffic bottleneck.

WSDOT worked with several area stakeholders to develop a solution that could be put in place quickly to improve mobility and safety while more long term area planning continues. Partners included Lewis County, the city of Napavine, the Port of Chehalis, local property owners and elected officials.

“The goal was to find an immediate low-cost solution that would help alleviate or reduce the congestion right away,” said WSDOT Project Engineer, Colin Newell. “A good portion of the traffic through this area is freight traffic, who are heading westbound on to Rush Road. This allows us to make an improvement now while we also continue developing a long-term solution throughout this corridor to accommodate anticipated traffic volume and growth.”

What travelers need to know

  • Converting the Hamilton and Rush roads intersection from a three-way to a two-way stop will allow travelers heading westbound on Rush Road to travel through the intersection and turn onto Rush Road/ Hamilton Road without stopping, removing a bottleneck in the overall system.
  • Travelers on southbound Hamilton Road and northbound Rush Road will continue to stop at the intersection.

Next steps

  • Future low-cost improvements could include adding additional lanes on the I-5 off-ramps, to provide more storage for turning vehicles.
  • Meanwhile, WSDOT and local stakeholders will continue to work to develop a long-term preferred alternative aimed at increasing safety and reducing congestion, to be implemented if funding becomes available.

People who travel in the area and would like to receive updates about this and other WSDOT work in Lewis County can sign up for updates via email.

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