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Finding money for new Bucklin Hill bridge — Money could come from other Silverdale road projects, delaying those

A new bridge at Bucklin Hill Road in Silverdale is in the works but where the money for the estimated $13 million project will come from is the question.

Kitsap County Commissioners met with Kitsap County Public Works Wednesday to discuss where a $6 million gap could come from. Construction on the project is expected to begin in 2014 and more than 30 percent of the design work is complete.

Public Works is intent to pursue $4 million from regional money and $3 million from countywide allocations, according to a memorandum from Jonathon Brand, county engineer to County Commissioner Josh Brown. The $7 million leaves the county $6 million short on the $13 million project.

The Bucklin Hill Estuary Enhancement and Bridge Construction Project is to raise the current bridge by 5 feet in order to improve the nearby Clear Creek estuary.

Two options are proposed to make up the difference for the Bucklin Hill project. One option is to set aside $4 million out of the existing Public Works Financial Fund Balance for the project. Any shortfall would be made up from money that has been set aside for other Silverdale road projects, according to the memorandum.

This could mean that money slated for the Silverdale Way roundabout project could go toward the Bucklin Hill project.  A $1.2 million grant from the state Transportation Improvement Board for the new roundabout could be moved to the Bucklin Hill project. Also, the Silverdale Way Road improvement project from Byron Street to Anderson Hill Road, scheduled to begin construction in 2016 to widen Silverdale Way, could be delayed and the $3.05 million of local money from that project could be re-directed to the Bucklin Hill project.

Other projects that could be delayed so money can be put forth to the Bucklin Hill bridge project include delaying the Bucklin Hill stormwater and bike and pedestrian project east of Tracyton Boulevard and the Myhre Road and Silverdale Way drop lane. Delaying these two projects would provide about $1.3 million toward the Bucklin Hill bridge project.

The second option to makeup for the project’s $6 million shortfall is to apply for a Public Works Trust Fund Construction Loan. This is a “highly competitive” low interest loan available to cities, counties and special purpose districts throughout the state. As of the March 8 memo, Public Works wasn’t entirely sure of the application process because it will change for the 2014 program.

At the December Central Kitsap Community Council meeting, Tina Nelson, senior program manager with Public Works, said that the Bucklin Hill bridge project would extend across Bucklin Hill Road between Blaine Avenue and Mickelberry Road. There would be four lanes on the bridge with a bike lane and sidewalk on both sides of the road.

“We will be moving forward with final design of the project and hopefully opportunities for outside funding will improve as we get closer to shovel ready status,” the memo read.

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