Monday, June 27, 2011

Washington State Route 117

On Sunday, June 26, 2011, I drove Washington State Route 117 from its beginning in western Port Angeles to its terminus in western Port Angeles. Let's go truckin'!

RCW 47.17.221
State route No. 117
A state highway to be known as state route number 117 is established as follows:

Beginning at a junction with state route number 101 in Port Angeles, thence northerly to the port of Port Angeles at Marine Drive.

SR 117 @ US 101

Just west of Tumwater Creek along US Highway 101 on the western outskirts of Port Angeles, there sits an unassuming half-interchange and overpass. That overpass is the southern end of SR 117. If you're headed east on 101 to get here, don't be fooled by the "US 101 Truck Route" sign. It's actually 117. WSDOT just wants to make sure trucks go this way...

SR 117 in Tumwater Creek Canyon

SR 117 follows Tumwater Creek down its canyon, tumbling quickly toward the sea. A few businesses alongside the road, but not much else. At the halfway point on the highway, we spy a city street spanning the canyon, far above. No sign, no contact...

SR 117 @ Port Angeles

The canyon flattens out. A few more businesses, and suddenly a stoplight ahead. We've reached the end of SR 117, here at Marine Drive. This is at the heart of the industrial port of Port Angeles. Huge piles of lumber abound. The only possible rationale for SR 117 to be a state highway is to guide the truckers away from the quaint city center. The city surely doesn’t want the tourists to know what *really* supports the city.

Well, that was fun. Hurricane Ridge, anybody?


alison O'Donnell said...

The log trucks are directed to take the truck rte (SR 117), which in turn takes them DIRECTLY THROUGH the 'quaint' downtown of Port Angeles. Log trucks cannot make the joggle type maneuver at the corner of Lauridsen Blvd and Lincoln which is required to stay on Hwy 101 going east because the area is too narrow, (not to mention school zones and such)so they take the truck rte. They also cannot take the bridges (Lauridsen Bridge or either of the Eighth Street bridges because of weight(also don't think a log truck could make the left turn off of Lauridsen Bridge...))So there really is no option but to go directly through downtown. Did you not notice that at the end of the truck rte you can only go left (will end up at the end of the 'spit' at a coast Guard Base), or right - which goes right through downtown? Got nothing to hide. Just thought you would like to know.

Sotosoroto said...

What you're describing as the truck route (Lauridsen to Lincoln to Front/1st) is actually US Route 101. SR 117 is seven blocks west in the Tumwater Creek valley (crossing underneath one of the 8th St bridges). The "joggle" to stay on Lauridsen and avoid downtown Pt. Angeles actually takes you off the state highway system.

alison O'Donnell said...

I know what State Rte 117 is, I drive on it everyday, I work at a business that is on it. What I was saying is that truckers have no choice but to take the truck rte. Continuing on HWY 101(Lauridsen Blvd) is not an option. You had mentioned that perhaps the City of Port Angeles wanted to keep the Log trucks away from view for tourist reasons, which makes no sense. Log trucks, or any semi truck for that matter, are not re-routed from going downtown in any way. Driving State rte 117 North,(as your pictures show), which we both agree is the route the trucks have to take, will take you directly through downtown, right in front of God and everybody. That was my point.

alison O'Donnell said...

Meant to add - The way I described the joggle area should have been written not as trucks needing to remain on Lauridsen, but the issue of trucks taking the odd soft left turn off of Lauridsen to remain on Lincoln (HWY 101). Got my streets mislabeled there. Also - not sure where you are seeing that I described the Lauridsen / Lincoln area as the truck rte??