The paving is done … so why is Washington Avenue still closed?

Crews paint the retaining wall on Washington Avenue, as part of the street's $3.5 million makeover. Photo by Larry Steagall.
Crews paint the retaining wall on Washington Avenue, as part of the street’s $3.5 million makeover. Photo by Larry Steagall.

UPDATE, Dec. 11: City officials announced Friday that Washington Avenue will reopen to traffic on mid-day, Monday, Dec. 14. Some work continues that could result in intermittent closures but the roadway, including the intersections at Fifth and Sixth streets will finally be opened.

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At long last, paving’s been completed on Washington Avenue and drivers will see some relief on their afternoon commutes home. 

Right?

Not quite.

The city has chosen to keep the southbound lane of Washington closed until mid-December, in order to get a few more tasks completed and so it does not further confuse drivers, according to Bremerton Public Works Director Chal Martin.

“Since folks are used to the one-lane northbound configuration and the intersection closure, we think it is best overall to get the work done right with fewer disruptions,” Martin told me.

There’s still a lot of electrical work to do, to include putting in those decorative downtown street lights. Crews from RV Associates also must wait for the pavement to “cure” before they can apply markings to the street. Remember, there will be Bremerton’s first “bike boxes” as a part of this project.

“Since we only have one lane to work with each way now, it really makes it much more difficult to get the big trucks in, and have the room they need to work safely,” Martin said.

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The $3.5 million project has narrowed the roadway from four lanes to two, which made room for wider sidewalks and bike lanes. The project is also completing a new sewer line that will allow the city to abandon an environmentally sensitive sewer line on the beach below.

Once most of the road work’s done, the crews will be able to finish off the work at Evergreen-Rotary Park. Now that the aforementioned sewer beach line will be defunct, there’s no need for a pump station, roadway and power lines through the middle of the park. Crews will take those things out and fully connect the original park with the new 9/11 Memorial via grass and pathways.

Here’s the city’s timeline — not quite the October completion they’d expected.

  • Paving complete – Thursday, October 15th
  • Street lights installed and operational – October 30th
  • Landscaping on Washington – October 30th
  • Park construction – October 30th to December 18th
  • Underground (electrical) conversion complete and street fully reopened – December 18th

10 thoughts on “The paving is done … so why is Washington Avenue still closed?

  1. As of last Friday they were still telling us that Washington Ave would be re-opened prior to Thanksgiving. Work within the park has zero impact on Washington Ave. Did they forget to order the extremely expensive decorative street lights on time? Can you find out if we are still paying a yearly fee just for the right to have this style of light?

  2. Chal Martin should be fired. It’s completely unacceptable to continue to hold Washington Ave closed for 3 more months. It’s already been closed far longer than advertised. And the whole project is ill-begotten anyway. They should have moved the bulkhead one lane west, kept two lanes northbound, and one lane southbound, and still would have had room for the wider sidewalks.

      1. I could not help but shake my head at his comment (excerpt pasted below) about one of the reasons for keeping the road closed. And who decided it needed to be one lane each way? Good grief.

        “Since we only have one lane to work with each way now, it really makes it much more difficult to get the big trucks in, and have the room they need to work safely,” Martin said.

  3. They are probably only reopening it so they can close the northbound curb lane at the latest condo project on Washington. If you have not done so please go support the Eagles on Taco Tuesday’s, steak night and other events open to the public. This on going construction has got to be taking a major toll on them.

  4. Now Bike Box? What the heck is that? Will bike riders know what they’re for and how to use them? Even roundabouts come with instructions if you know where to look…
    My other question is now that the road is nicely paved, will they botch them up by cutting sewer manholes? Have you ever noticed the lack of patching abilities by these asphalt/utility workers??? Even though I know these are not specifically the City of Bremerton, Seabeck Highway and Waaga Way near Highway 3 are horrible. Don’t these workers drive on these roads and do they have any pride in their work???

  5. So how much is it over budget and where is the money coming from?

    Can’t remember the last project the City of Bremerton completed on time and under budget.

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