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Road construction headaches ahead

As this new sign on westbound Waaga Way announces, the Nickel gas tax, passed by state legislature in 2003, provides the majority of the funding for the $16.7 million interchange between state routes 3 and 303. - Photo by Valentina Petrova
As this new sign on westbound Waaga Way announces, the Nickel gas tax, passed by state legislature in 2003, provides the majority of the funding for the $16.7 million interchange between state routes 3 and 303.
— image credit: Photo by Valentina Petrova

Road construction season is upon us and in Central Kitsap the summer will be a particularly hectic one. As the state oversees the interchange construction at state routes 3 and 303, the county is undertaking four smaller projects throughout northern Silverdale.

Work on the $16.7 million Waaga Way interchange began nearly a month ago just north of Kitsap Mall.

And Monday was the first day construction crews were at a northern stretch of Silverdale Way to begin work on widening the road and adding two traffic signal installations between Schold Place and Mountain View Road.

In June contractors will dig into another spot on Silverdale Way to replace a culvert with a bridge over Clear Creek. Myhre Road, at the intersection with Mickelberry Road, also will undergo a culvert-to-bridge makeover.

Much later in the summer construction will affect Bucklin Hill Road, also at its Mickelberry Road intersection.

“Primarily we’ve been working on the Silverdale Way North project and Silverdale Way bridge project for a really long time,” said Jon Brand assistant director of Public Works.

Brand said it is a coincidence that these two, as well as the culvert replacement at Myhre Road, cleared the approval process in time to begin construction in the same summer.

The Myhre Road project, scheduled for construction between June and mid-October, will be the only construction site where the road will be completely closed to traffic.

Despite the double-project construction on northern Silverdale Way, crews there will maintain two lanes open to traffic most of the time, with the occasional delays when equipment or materials are moved, Brand said.

“When we originally designed the Silverdale Way bridge, (the project) was designed so that we were going to maintain one lane (open to traffic during construction),” he said. “But we realized we would make a lot of enemies that way.”

Silverdale Way just north of the Waaga Way off-ramp, will be noisy during regular business hours and will carry the occasional inconveniences, Brand admits, but there will be no major delays and emergency vehicles will have access through the construction sites.

“We are hoping people will be as patient as they can be,” he said. “We’re hoping people will be taking alternate routes as much as possible.”

But not all drivers have that option.

Ken Kramer lives off of Silverdale Way, in between the two construction zones.

“Schold Place is the road I would turn into to go home,” Kramer said. “There’s no detour to get to there.”

Kramer says all the road work will be no bother. He will adjust his time schedule and “go with the flow” even if the traffic flow is rather slow at times.

“I’m glad to see them doing some work and improving the roadways,” Kramer said.

“We had discussed not doing one of these projects this year,” Brand said. “But with the Silverdale Way bridge being in the same segment as the Silverdale Way North (project) it actually makes more sense to do them at the same time.”

When construction engulfs the Bucklin Hill Road artery in late August through early October, no traffic impact is anticipated, Brand said.

Most of the lane closures associated with the interchange will be at night, minimizing traffic impact.

“Because of the mall right there, our traffic restrictions are two full pages long,” said Ray Arnold, WSDOT project engineer.

The contractor plans on disappearing from Thanksgiving until New Year’s, to avoid interfering with the holiday shopping season this year, Arnold added.

Dan Engelhard, senior manager of Kitsap Mall, said he anticipated nothing more than minor inconveniences for area drivers this summer and for the remainder of the interchange work.

“We’ll be patient with short-term pain for long-term gain,” Engelhard said.

On the Web

For more information and updates on these and other Kitsap County road construction projects this summer, visit http://www.kitsapgov.com/pw/roadwork.htm or call (360) 337-5777. For details on the Waaga Way interchange, visit http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR3/WaagaWay/ or call (360) 874-3000.

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