New Bucklin Hill bridge to improve Clear Creek estuary about a year out

Designing for a new bridge at Bucklin Hill Road in Silverdale is in its beginning stages by Kitsap County. The current bridge will be raised by 5 feet in order to improve the nearby estuary of Clear Creek.

The project is estimated at $13 million and the project would extend across Bucklin Hill Road between Blaine Avenue and Mickelberry Road, said Tina Nelson, senior program manager with Kitsap County Public Works. There would be four lanes on the bridge with a bike lane and sidewalk on both sides of the road.

“We gotta raise the bridge,” said Nelson. “It’s better than what we have now.”

The county hopes to earn a grant from the Puget Sound Regional Council that would go toward the bridge project but the designs would need to be completed by the end of 2012 in order to be considered, which the county plans on doing, Nelson said. As of last month, the design was 30 percent complete, she added.

Depending on when money is available for the project, construction could begin in 2013.

“The enhancement to the estuary is worth it as long as we can find the dollars,” Nelson said.

Although there are no plans for an underpass for walkers, Nelson said the bridge will be built “pedestrian-friendly” so that people will be able to go under the bridge at low tide.

The county plans to meet with nearby property owners in January or February and a public meeting will likely be held later in the spring.

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