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Dirt’s a-flying on Waaga Way extension

(From left) Kitsap County Commissioners Josh Brown, Jan Angel and Steve Bauer break ground Thursday on the Waaga Way road extension. Dave Waaga, son of Art Waaga, the road’s namesake, watches in the background. - Wesley Remmer/staff photo
(From left) Kitsap County Commissioners Josh Brown, Jan Angel and Steve Bauer break ground Thursday on the Waaga Way road extension. Dave Waaga, son of Art Waaga, the road’s namesake, watches in the background.
— image credit: Wesley Remmer/staff photo

Road project officially breaks ground.

A handful of local dignitaries broke ground Thursday on the Waaga Way extension, launching construction on the first new road in Silverdale since Myhre Road in 1994.

Kitsap County Commissioners Josh Brown, Steve Bauer and Jan Angel, speaking to about 30 attendees, expressed excitement for the $13 million project, scheduled to be completed around August 2009.

Brown called Silverdale the county’s “economic driver for the past 30 years” and said the Waaga Way extension will help preserve that standing, opening the door for economic development in a nearby 450-acre urban growth area.

“Great days are to come,” he said.

When the project is completed, he added, residents will have easy access to the urban growth area, which is designated for commercial, office and industrial zoned lands. The extension will provide a main transportation link to the area.

“This project will unleash the economic potential of (those) 450 acres,” he said. “I believe this project and the connector roads will ensure that Silverdale is open for business for some time to come.”

The four-lane, 98-foot-wide road will span about 3/4 of a mile, connecting Clear Creek and Old Frontier roads north of Silverdale. It will include bike and pedestrian lanes and a landscaped median.

The extension also will serve as a bypass for drivers accessing East Bremerton via Waaga Way, eliminating the hassle of driving through downtown Silverdale.

Mary McBride, on hand to represent U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, called the project “dynamic,” saying it will bolster economic development and the quality of life for Silverdale — and Kitsap County — residents.

Critical to the infrastructure of a community, transportation plays a vital role in today’s society, McBride said.

“Transportation systems are part of the economic engine that moves people and goods,” she said. “The extension will position Silverdale in Kitsap County for the future.”

McBride also “reconfirmed” the partnership between Sen. Murray and Kitsap County’s transportation advisory committee.

Murray helped the county secure $3.5 million in federal funds for the project, covering more than 25 percent of the cost.

Dave Waaga (son of Art Waaga, the road’s namesake), Bill Stewart (Kitsap Economic Development Alliance), Mark Gulbranson (Puget Sound Regional Council), Jean-Marie Harmon (Silverdale Chamber of Commerce), Jon Pearson (Central Kitsap Community Council) and Kevin Ward (Federal Highway Administration) also attended Thursday’s groundbreaking.

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