Opinion

Summertime means road improvements

DISH FROM THE COMMISH

The month of June in the Puget Sound means longer (and hopefully warmer!) days, with more opportunities to be active outdoors. With the arrival of better weather and upcoming summer vacations keeping families busy, Kitsap County Public Works aims to take full advantage of the season. Over the next few months, several critical projects will be underway in Central Kitsap. These projects include:

Anderson Hill Road projects

The most obvious improvements underway are on Anderson Hill Road between Old Frontier/Provost and Olympic View. Two projects have required the use of flaggers and limits to only one lane of travel. Inspired by the vision of CK residents Laura Fedorko and Victoria Cartwright, a local muralist has made substantial progress transforming the Anderson Hill railroad overpass from a bleak concrete hulk into a community treasure. At the same time, while work on the mural is close to completion, Kitsap County is near the finish point of a capacity project that will add a left turn-lane on Anderson Hill Road onto Apex

Road. This project is aimed at reducing backups generated during afternoon commutes stemming from turns onto Apex. This turn pocket will allow traffic to flow up Anderson Hill much easier. Construction started May 4 and is anticipated to be complete at the end of June.

Waaga Way Extension project

Up Old Frontier Road from Anderson Hill, construction continues on the Waaga Way Extension. This project will construct a new roadway alignment from the SR 3/SR 303 interchange between Clear Creek and Old Frontier roads. This project is the first new road built in Silverdale in nearly a decade and will consist of four 12–foot vehicle lanes, a 14–foot median, 5–foot bike lanes, 6–foot sidewalks separated by a 6-

foot planter strip, and drainage facilities for stormwater quality and quantity treatment. Construction started in July 2008 and is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2009.  

Kitsap County prioritized this $13 million project because of its ability to assist in reducing congestion by providing an alternate route through downtown Silverdale. This roadway also is important due to its strategic location. Nestled near major freeway ramps, the Waaga Way Extension will unleash the economic development portion of 450 acres added into the Silverdale UGA in 2006. In recognition of the significance of this project, the Central Kitsap Community Council is leading a road naming effort for this project and the name will be announced in the coming weeks.

Bucklin Hill Road and Tracyton Boulevard projects

While the Waaga Way Extension will alleviate some traffic from the downtown core, capacity improvements are still needed throughout downtown Silverdale. To that end, Kitsap County has two projects aimed at easing this congestion.

First, turn lanes will be added at the intersection of Bucklin Hill Road and Tracyton Boulevard. This will consist of a right turn-lane from eastbound Bucklin Hill Road onto southbound Tracyton Boulevard and a left turn-lane from northbound Tracyton onto westbound Bucklin Hill. The goal is to phase in capacity improvements throughout this corridor to ease gridlock during peak periods. Construction bids were received May 5. Work is anticipated to begin in mid-June and be completed at the end of October. Bucklin Hill will be limited to one-lane each direction for the duration of the project. All work will be suspended during the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede, Aug. 26-30.

Intersection Improvements

The second project in downtown is the addition of 10 new light signals at the busiest intersections in Silverdale that will feature blinking yellow turn lights. The new signal at Anderson Hill Road at Silverdale Way is an example of such a feature. Instead of vehicles making left-hand turns across oncoming traffic that automatically triggers a signal change, the blinking yellow light option will allow motorists to pass when the opportunity to safely do so is available. This keeps the lights greener longer and allows the signals to be more efficient, reducing the frequency of stop-and-go movements. When needed, the left turn-light will be tripped to allow protected turns.

We are proud to be able to complete these projects in Central Kitsap over the next few months and we realize that while construction occurs, delays may arise. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we work to provide essential services to the Central Kitsap community. We look forward to completing these improvements as soon as possible.

Thunderbird Rodeo Returns to Kitsap County

For the fifth consecutive year, the Thunderbird Pro Rodeo will be held at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds June 27 and 28. This event is a great way to get warmed up before the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede later this summer. The Thunderbird Rodeo will feature live music by Jonathan Harris on June 27, along with many other events which helped it earn NPRA Rodeo of the Year in 2007. In addition to the great family fun, the Thunderbird Pro Rodeo is a registered non-profit that contributes to support Corey’s Day on the Farm for Special Needs Children and the Northwest Burn Foundation. For more information on this great event, visit www.thunderbirdrodeo.com.

Central Kitsap Commissioner Josh Brown appears in the CK Reporter the second Friday of the month..

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