Drivers in several parts of Okanogan County will be seeing a lot of orange in the weeks ahead, as a trio of road construction projects get underway.

The primary project is happening on a 15-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 97 (U.S. 97) between Omak and Tonasket (milepost 286 to 301).

Spokesperson Sebastian Moraga with the Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT) says the $12.5 million, multi-phase effort includes several fixes and improvements.

"They're removing and replacing asphalt and installing rumble strips and traffic markers. Another aspect of the project includes the building of bike paths and walking paths near the intersection of U.S. 97 and Dayton Street in Omak."

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Work on this portion of the three projects will begin tomorrow (May 1) and is scheduled to wrap up in August.

The second piece will include the completion of an effort to chip seal and install traffic markings and guideposts on an eight-mile stretch of State Route 20 (SR-20) east of Tonasket (milepost 266 to 274) that began last year but had to be halted by cold weather.

This project is slated to begin on June 3 and take ten working days.

The third and final portion of the work will see the same contractor from the SR-20 project resurface an 11-mile stretch of U.S. 97 (milepost 315 to 326) south of Oroville beginning in June.

Moraga says there will be a few impacts to traffic when the work in being done.

"There will be some single-lane closures throughout each of these projects but we'll have flaggers and pilot cars to guide the traffic through and delays should be minimal."

Motorists can keep track of traffic delays by visiting the DOT's real-time travel map once the work begins.

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