The in basket: Wally Carlson has some questions about recent
county road work in Central Kitsap.
He wonders why the county didn’t shave the crest of the hill at
McWilliams and Old Military roads when it added a left turn lane
there. He compared the intersection to “an infinity pool” where he
can’t see oncoming traffic.
He asks why the two eastbound lanes of Bucklin Hill Road weren’t
continued all the way up to Tractyton Road while the bridge over
Clear Creek was being replaced and the road was widened only to
And “while complaining,” he added. “…why use poles and not bury
overhead power lines on Bucklin … think that was answered before
but i forgot.. money??? not very aesthetic.. only lines in sight,”
The out basket: Tina Nelson, the county’s senior program manager
handled all three matters.
“Projects are established based on some kind of need that
justifies spending public roadway dollars,” she said. “A big deal
for the county is safety, and therefore a safety need is a key
reason/need for projects/improvements to take place.
“Locations with high accidents are carefully reviewed and
evaluated. A location may have more than one need; safety
(accidents), poor pavement, lack of pedestrian facilities, ADA
compliance, capacity, drainage, to mention some.
“We like to, and try to take care of all needs when we do a
project, but the dollars only go so far. Significant grade
revisions (shaving of the crest) may have large impacts to
utilities buried in the roadway and adjacent properties, which are
considered in the project scope/solution, bringing up our cost and
the costs for others. Therefore, we may decide to only take
care of the most urgent need.
Her answer to question two echoes the one she provided in a July
Road Warrior column when Jonathan McLean asked about the gap
left in the sidewalk along the same stretch of Bucklin Hill Road
that Wally asks about.
“The limits for the recent Bucklin Hill project were established
from Blaine Avenue to the Mickelberry intersection, the highest
need,” she said. “Extending the project to Tracyton/Myhre was
in the initial plan in 1998, and does make sense, but again dollars
only go so far, and we had to end somewhere.
“Plus a minor capacity improvement were made a few years ago at
the Bucklin/Myhre/Tracyton intersection, which is what we consider
a good example of doing something to help a need, but not get it
“In the current Bucklin Hill project, a transition had to be
made from the five-lane section, which is the widening portion
extending east of Mickelberry.
Silverdale Water District choose to replace their water main
past the county’s project limits. Thereby some work was added, but
to stay within budget, and grant approvals, we had to limit the
work done. We ended up with some new pavement and adding
extruded curb to manage some drainage issues, but we had to leave
the rest alone.
“The biggest need for traffic flow was to get the section
completed to Mickelberry. The added lanes and sidewalk
connection on the south side will happen someday, but are not
currently in our 6-year plan.
“The new tall poles on the south side of Bucklin Hill are to
support transmission lines. Undergrounding of transmission
lines is not an option.
“There are no other overhead utilities within the new roadway
segment. Undergrounding of utilities is an expense for
the utility owner (Wave, KPUD, Comcast, etc.) and not
necessarily one that the county can demand,” she said.