Interchange gets redesign by state

The SR3/Waaga Way interchange, scheduled to begin construction next year, will look a little different than originally planned. Although the function — to link Central Kitsap’s two main highways — is the same, its form has been altered to take on more traffic, State Department of Transportation officials said.

Assistant project engineer Gordon Roycroft and design supervisor John Romero presented the design changes to the Central Kitsap Community Council Wednesday night.

Because the county changed the zoning of the property surrounding the interchange to industrial, projected traffic volume also changed.

That change was the “fatal flaw” to the old design said Nancy Boyd, project engineer.

The old design, which has been on the shelf for about five years, would have widened the Clear Creek/ Kitsap Mall overpass and Clear Creek road. A ramp connecting northbound SR 3 and eastbound SR 303 would have been constructed.

Now the focus has been shifted to widening the SR 303 overpass over SR3 to the equivalent of six lanes where traffic will converge at a signal. There traffic from southbound SR 3 can go east or west on SR 303 and traffic from Kitsap Mall Boulevard can connect to northbound SR 3. A new ramp will be built on northbound SR 3 to intersect with Kitsap Mall Boulevard. A second ramp will provide a direct link to eastbound SR 303. The existing ramp linking Kitsap Mall Boulevard and northbound SR 3 would be removed.

The Clear Creek overpass would not be changed. According to the plans, Clear Creek Road would be shifted to intersect with the section of road that connects 303 and Kitsap Mall Boulevard.

The new interchange is expected to ease traffic congestion at Kitsap Mall and handle projected traffic flows through 2030.

The nearly $20 million price tag is funded in part by the nickel gas tax voters approved last year. It is expected to go out to bid spring of 2005. Construction is scheduled for completion in November 2006.

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