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Whidbey Island
and The Legend of Deception Pass

Chapter Thirty-One

Another Bridge?

The history of Deception Pass Bridge is not over yet. In May of 1998 as the Bridge's 90-year history is being compiled, transportation authorities believe it is time to begin tackling the problem that has arisen with a six percent per year increase in traffic over the Whidbey-Fidalgo scenic marvel.

The Washington Department of Transportation is using a $250,000 federal grant to study traffic patterns to and from North Whidbey, looking at possible solutions to a capacity deficiency on Deception Pass Bridge today.

At the same time the Skagit-Island Regional Transportation Planning Organization is conducting a survey of 4,000 people who use the bridge, to get a sense of how serious the traffic problem is.

Data collected shows a total of 19,064 drivers used the bridge on an average weekend in August last year. On weekdays the average was 18,225. The federal standard for a typical two-lane highway beyond capacity is an average of 22,000 drivers per day. Many believe Deception Pass Bridge is already beyond capacity.

Some ideas include a second bridge, perhaps one that heads east to the Interstate 5 corridor, or a larger Deception Pass Bridge. The department is soliciting ideas.

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