BURBANK -- By the time you read this, it will be history.
The last stoplight on the route from Walla Walla to Seattle will be taken out of operation today as the overpass at U.S. Highway 12 and Humorist Road is opened. The event marks the virtual completion of a $22.2 million project to improve safety on the highway.
The overpass is one of two bridges that have been built to eliminate intersections on Highway 12 at Humorist Road and at State Route 124. The State Route 124 interchange became fully operational Friday, said Moe Davari, Washington state Department of Transportation project engineer.
The official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the project will be June 6, but since both overpasses are complete, WSDOT officials want them opened now, Davari said. Once the Humorist Road stoplight is removed, only miscellaneous work, landscaping and cleanup will remain to be done.
Construction on the project began in October 2010 and work was supposed to be finished by this summer. However, Davari said the project contractor is ahead of schedule. "They have until sometime in July to finish, but they expect to have work wrapped up by mid-June," he said.
As for the old stoplights, they will be sent back into storage. "They've done their job," Davari said.
Andy Porter can be reached at email@example.com or 526-8318.