Road Work Improvements

For Anacortes residents summertime means two-ish glorious months of sunshine, warmer temperatures and frolicking on sandy, pebbled beaches. For the Anacortes Public Works Department and Washington State Department of Transportation it means roadwork projects.

“Many Anacortes residents don’t realize how dependent we all are on Public Works, this summer it will be quite evident. You’re going to see Public Works infrastructure maintenance and improvements in action."

- Emily Schuh, Human Resources Manager for Anacortes Public Works

Roadwork projects will be happening in abundance thanks to a larger budget allocated by the city council for road improvements. $1.1 Million is budgeted for each year for overlays including cape seal & slurry seal projects as part of the City’s budget and the Transportation Benefit District.

While summer is a perfect time for projects, be it a gardening project, or major road repairs, it’s also high tourist season in our area, which creates a challenge. The areas affected by roadwork will vary. Some areas will be affected for a few hours, some for a few days. The projects outlined below will be mainly downtown, near Heart Lake, and from 12th & Commercial to the State Ferry. Take a few moments to acquaint yourself with what will be happening around our area, and be prepared for the improvements happening this summer that will help our roads last longer.

Cape Seal Project

Cape seal consists of two layers: the 1st layer is a chip seal - a layer of asphalt emulsion with a layer of fine aggregate to seal the road and add some strength - and the 2nd layer is a slurry seal. In years past the City and County have applied cape seal on Whistle Lake Road, O Avenue, Haddon Road, and Spradley Road south of the city limits on the way to Whistle Lake. Cape seal is most effectively applied when a road is beginning to deteriorate and helps to ensure that the entire road doesn’t have to be totally replaced.

The City is collaborating with Skagit County on their summer cape seal program. Skagit County Public Works has a robust road repair program, and will be handling repairs for other roads in the area, so it is a smart, cost-effective partnership for them to complete our project as well.

Upcoming project TBA soon.

Slurry Seal Project

Slurry seal is a thin layer of asphalt and sand that are put down on the roadways to repair them and increase longevity of the road. This type of roadwork is mainly for roads that are in good condition to keep them in good condition. Much like the slurry seal projects that happened in the past there will be plenty of neighborhood outreach to prepare residents for the work that will be happening. Neighborhood meetings, two-day and one-day notices via door hangers are all part of the plan to get the neighborhood ready.

M Avenue Paving Project

Asphalt Overlay

Along M Avenue from 5th Street to 20th Street

Marches Point Road Bicycle Path Widening Project


From the east end of the Tommy Thompson Trestle to 1200 feet south of the trestle.


This project will widen the shoulder along March Point Road, allowing for safer travels for cyclists. This is a heavily trafficked route for area cyclists, and riders touring from other areas on their way to the State Ferry.

R Avenue & Highway 20 Re-channelization

Washington State Department of Transportation Project


The intersection of R Ave and Highway 20 where there is oncoming traffic from the roundabout at the top of Commercial  Ave, and left -turning traffic from R Avenue, as well as the right-turning from Highway 20 to R Avenue.


There will be a re-channelization of this intersection to allow for a safer merge between turning traffic and oncoming traffic. The project will create a single turn-only lane on Highway 20 for traffic that is turning eastbound from R Avenue, improving the currently existing merge lane. Additionally, for westbound traffic coming from Highway 20, there will be a right-turn only lane, with signage notification, alleviating traffic confusion.


Washington State Department of Transportation Project


Paving from Sharps Corner to the Commercial Avenue Roundabout, and from 12th and Commercial to the Washington State Ferry.


This project will include overlay paving, and will bring sidewalks up to ADA code - allowing for wheelchair accessibility - and some initial shoulder work as well. This is an incredibly heavy traffic route during the summer, and ferry-bound traffic will be affected. WSHDOT has received a variance to work at night, which will alleviate some of the headache. But, according to Anacortes Public Works Director, Fred Buckenmeyer, finding the right time to do roadwork is a balancing act,

Additional Information

“If you work during the day, you impact traffic. If you work at night, you don’t affect traffic, but you do affect people trying to sleep that live in the immediate area. Finding the perfect time for roadwork is nearly impossible.”

Driving around Anacortes may prove to be a bit difficult at times this summer. But on the upside, there will be better streets for the future of our town. So put on your sunglasses and keep cool, Anacortes. And as always, let us hear from you with any questions or concerns regarding our summer roadwork projects.

Phone: 360-293-1919

Email Public Works