Link Transit will have a ribbon cutting on Wednesday for its new roundabout in Leavenworth. 

The roundabout will allow Link buses to turn around and head back to Wenatchee without having to maneuver through city side streets in Leavenworth. 

Link Transit spokesperson Eric West says they had been using the Icicle Quik Stop parking lot as a turnaround location for about 30 years, but new arrangements had to be made. 

"Just recently they said they no longer wanted us to go through there because of just increased congestion," said West. "And then especially in the wintertime, when there's snow piled around, it's just a really tight situation for everybody." 

Link Transit runs a busy schedule to Leavenworth and will run buses through the new roundabout 24 times on weekdays and 12 times on Saturdays and Sundays. 

An April 2020 U.S. 2 Upper Wenatchee Valley Transportation Corridor Study conducted jointly by the Chelan-Douglas Transportation Council and WSDOT identified the Icicle Road and U.S. 2 intersection project as a priority.  

West says it’s an important improvement because the Leavenworth leg along with service to Chelan have the highest transit ridership. 

"They get commuters and tourists and recreationists of all sorts going to and from," West said. "So, they do a lot of our heavy lifting." 

The Leavenworth and Chelan bus routes get between 10,000-13,000 passengers per month while Wenatchee and East Wenatchee in town routes get between 2,000-6,000 passengers in a month. 

Link Transit was able to finance the project out of its 2023 capital budget.  

The project came with a price tag of $2.2 million, which was more than $1 million below the initial projected cost of $3.3 million. 

Construction was handled by RH2 Engineering and KCRI Construction. 

The City of Leavenworth coordinated the installation of a new water main to coincide with the roundabout construction, a significant savings in terms of traffic disruption and direct costs to the City. 

Link Transit is funded by a 0.5% sales tax collected in Chelan and Douglas counties, a figure which will increase to 0.6% in January. 

The ribbon cutting ceremony takes place at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 18 on the south edge of the roundabout. The small event is not expected to impact traffic flow

The transit’s board chair, Mark Straub and CEO, Nick Covey will speak at the ceremony, as will a representative from the Washington State Department of Transportation. 

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