"Waaga Way-SR3 connector stalled, not shelved"
June 11, 2008 · Updated 11:25 AM
"Wait.It's the hardest answer anyone can get for something much desired.The community of Silverdale was looking forward to the start of construction for the Waaga Way connector, vital to further development and improved traffic flow.But the intricacies of road funding have put the project on hold temporarily, said project engineer John Wynands of the state Department of Transportation. To say that the project has been shelved, its way more complicated than that, said Wynands.Wynands said the funding for the project is a cooperation between Kitsap County and the state, with each responsible for providing about $5 million.The funding is not pulled for the project, but it is 'new law money' as opposed to the current law budget, he said. The current law budget (of projects) is already funded.The Waaga Way connector wasn't included in the last budget, so it depends on the Legislature coming up with new money, then appropriating it, Wynands said. When they go through the budget they're writing now they're always looking for places to get money, such as the gas tax, he added.He said the Legislature currently is working on the biennial budget for July 2001-2003. Wynands also said legislators have various options for how they put the money together.Adding to that, the House, Senate and governor all have their own ideas on how and where transportation funding should be put together.We've got three different transportation scenarios, with associated costs, said Wynands. The three have to get together and pass a common (appropriations bill).Funding is one of the trickiest parts in trying to schedule a package like the Waaga Way connector. Tentative start date for the project was April 2002, with completion in the fall of 2004.New construction would include:* New ramps to SR 3.* Improvements to where Waaga Way comes over SR 3.* Widening and signal work at Clear Creek and Waaga Way to include left turn lanes.* Widening on Kitsap Mall Boulevard.* Modifications to signals and timing at all the intersections.We're just on hold until the appropriations are done, and it could affect the start date, Wynands said. "