The state is looking into fixing the Highway 3-Highway 304 interchange, the worst bottleneck in the county.
That’s where Highway 3 comes south from Silverdale and merges from two lanes to one as it passes the car dealerships and sewer plant. Highway 304 whittles from three lanes to one if you count the carpool lane. Then they meet, with Highway 304 going over Highway 3 and becoming the right lane of Highway 3. It’s a funky connection, but not really the problem. The problems are the merges themselves. During the evening commute, cars get all backed up on both highways.
I hadn’t heard any plans for a fix, then it shows up this morning in the state Senate’s proposed supplemental transportation budget. Eleven projects would split $27 million for very preliminary design, engineering or to buy right of way. Highway 3-304 would get $500,000. This would be the first step, and who knows when if ever it would get done, but at least they’re thinking about it.
I vaguely remember writing something years ago about a study on blasting more lanes out of the basalt cliff. I think they determined it’d be too expensive, or dangerous. In fact, I think there was argument that a bridge across Sinclair Inlet would be just as cheap.
Ron Landon of Olympic Region DOT said they want to eliminate the “drop lane” coming down Highway 3 from the car dealers.
“The $500,000 would be to start some preliminary engineering to see how best to reconfigure that intersection to take away that drop lane and keep a good level of service on the leg coming in from 304,” he said.