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County will start work soon on Randall Way

Two Silverdale roads soon will undergo a major facelift designed to improve access to the town and Kitsap Mall from State Route 3 and Clear Creek Road.

Crews will begin work to add one more lane to Kitsap Mall Boulevard and Randall Way as soon as June. The project could take up to seven months to complete, though one county official said work could be halted during the busy Christmas shopping season and resume next year if it is not completed.

“We’re in discussion with the mall to make sure we impact them in the least way possible,” said Dick Dadisman of the Kitsap County Department of Public Works.

The project will add a new left-turn lane from Kitsap Mall Boulevard on to a new lane on Randall Way, which would turn into Kitsap Mall at the current traffic signal.

Mall officials are pleased the county is taking steps to improve Silverdale’s traffic woes.

“Any traffic improvement will be a positive thing,” said Kitsap Mall manager Dan Engelhard. “Silverdale has all kinds of traffic problems and if you look forward to the future, it’s going to be worse.”

The expansion will require construction of two retaining walls — one on the south side of Randall Way and another near Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar.

That comes first, Dadisman said.

“The details have yet to be ironed out, but the important thing is to get the walls constructed,” he said.

A number of stormwater improvements, such as addition of underground water detention tanks in the mall’s parking lot, also will be completed before road construction begins.

Jon Brand, project manager for the Department of Public Works, said the project will cause periodic traffic problems for the thousands of motorists who pass through the intersection daily.

“Contractors are required to maintain traffic flows,” Brand said, “overall there’s not going to be many disruptions, but people may want to think about an alternative route to get into Silverdale.

“There may be some inconveniences initially, but its going to be a good project. This is going to make a huge difference.”

Brand called the current intersection a nightmare, with traffic often spilling out on to State Route 3.

“There’s a general consensus there may be a short-term inconvenience,” Engelhard said. “Although any inconvenience now will be offset by any long-terms effects we may get by improving traffic flow.”

The $2.7 million widening project is the county’s contribution to the state’s SR 3/303 interchange project. The state plans to put two more lanes on the Clear Creek Road overpass, build a connecting road from northbound SR 3 to eastbound SR 303 and build a second overpass on top of the new route.

According to Randy Dunn, program manager for the state Department of Transportation’s Olympic Region, the agency is awaiting $5 million from the Legislature. That’s why DOT’s project is moving more slowly than the county’s portion.

“It all depends on what the Legislature says,” Dunn said. “They’re the ones who decide what’s in and what’s out.”

The 2002 House transportation budget has allocated $5 million for the project. The Senate’s version of the bill is expected later this week.

Dunn said if funding is approved, construction could begin next year.

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