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Work wraps on Tracyton Boulevard

This spring’s dry weather played a major role in the Tracyton Boulevard traffic calming project.

The finishing touches were added to the Tracyton project just this last week as Ace Paving crews finished installing medians and a few plants and some bark were placed just as the project was being wrapped up.

“The project went smoothly because of public education and meetings, not to mention the great weather that we have been experiencing,” said Callene Abernathy, County Public Works spokeswoman.

The project followed the budget pretty closely. The original contract was set for $375,000 and to-date it has cost $404,000. The extra cost was used for paving and road improvements that weren’t included in the original budget. Public Works designed the medians to be low-maintenance and built in irrigation for the drier parts of the year.

The controversial project, which included widening the road, lowering the speed limit from 35 to 30 mph, adding speed humps and the aforementioned medians continues to be a topic in the Tracyton area.

“The people that live there are supportive of it,” Abernathy said. “The people that just want to drive through aren’t.”

The Silverdale Water District also used the opportunity to do repair work on underground pipes.

Critics of the project said traffic will avoid Tracyton Boulevard and be forced onto other roads, such as Nels Nelson and Central Valley. Abernathy said available data doesn’t clearly support those claims since many drivers were persuaded to use other routes during the construction. A permanent traffic counter has been installed on Tracyton Boulevard, but it will be at least three months before Public Works gets an accurate count.

“Until then we just don’t know if people are using Tracyton Boulevard less,” Abernathy said.

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