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Round and round we go: Designing for roundabout at Silverdale Way and Chico Way intersection begins; construction expected in 2012.
Sometimes she drives south to eventually go north. Joan Krout, a secretary for Christ the King Lutheran Church located on Chico Way, is well acquainted with the backup that occurs where Chico Way meets Silverdale Way and Newberry Hill Road.
“I just take it in stride,” Krout said, adding that her biggest struggle with the intersection is making a left turn from Chico Way to get onto the highway. To avoid it, she drives south on Chico Way to get onto the highway and eventually makes her way back north to her home in Poulsbo.
KPFF Consulting Engineers, a Seattle company, has started designs for a roundabout that will be placed at the intersection to alleviate traffic and make the left turn from Chico Way easier for drivers like Krout. The designing process includes roadway layouts and checking current parameters and soil types. Construction on the roundabout will begin in 2012 and will first function as a one lane roundabout though it will be built to capacity for two lanes, said Tina Nelson, county public works senior program manager.
“There won’t be as much stop and go,” Nelson said with the placement of the roundabout, costing $2.1 million.
Silverdale has one roundabout on Anderson Hill Road, just west of Central Kitsap High School. The new roundabout will be larger than the Anderson Hill Road one and will be constructed similarly to the roundabout in Port Orchard on Highway 166, said Nelson.
The second lane to the roundabout will be added when Silverdale Way is widened to four lanes between Anderson Hill Road and Byron Street. Design for this is scheduled to start in 2013 followed by construction in 2016, said Nelson. The expansion of the road is estimated at $3 million. Because the roundabout will originally be made for two lanes, only the painting of the lines would need to be redone, Nelson added.
Last November the Central Kitsap Community Council was presented a KPFF study to improve traffic on Silverdale Way. Because of the constant flow of traffic the roundabout option was deemed best, said Nelson, adding that the idea received support from the council.
Mary Earl, community councilwoman, said Tuesday that a majority of the council was in favor for a roundabout over other options such as a traffic signal. Earl continues to support the roundabout project.
An open house is planned in January at the Silverdale Community Center.
“Lots of traffic is funneled north and south in Silverdale. Getting traffic east and west is very hard,” Earl said. “It’ll be a lot better than what we have right now.”
Alan Foster who has lived on Chico Way for three years thinks a traffic signal would be better.
“It’s not going to work,” Foster said of the roundabout idea. “It’s going to bog traffic completely.”
Carol Smiley lives directly east of the intersection and agrees that a backup builds on Chico Way at the intersection and that improvements need to be made, however the current roundabout plan will encroach closer to her and her neighbor’s property affecting their ability to get in and out of their driveways.
Her biggest concern is that in a current draft of the roundabout, an access road would be built over where there are currently hedges that give her and her neighbors’ privacy and separation from the busy roads. This area is technically in the county’s right-of-way to build.
The Department of Public Works recognizes that one of the challenges of the project will be figuring out a solution that will provide those neighboring properties with adequate access while also having a functional roundabout for drivers. The department has plans to meet with the home owners to discuss concerns, Nelson said.
In the meantime, people like Krout will continue to wait at the intersection to make the left turn from Chico Way that takes “a long time” or, give up and take the back roads.
“I hope it works,” Krout said of the roundabout.