When might Illahee Road washout be repaired?

The in basket: Pam Abbott says “I live just off Illahee (Road) in University Point. Illahee Road just before Brownsville has been washed out since the December rains. I know there are lots of trouble spots in the county, but do you know when they might begin work on the repairs to this road?


The in basket: Pam Abbott used the Road Warrior blog at kitsapsun.com to ask about the following:
“I live just off Illahee (Road) in University Point,” she wrote. “Illahee Road just before Brownsville has been washed out since the December rains. I know there are lots of trouble spots in the county, but do you know when they might begin work on the repairs to this road? 
“We are currently blocked from the most direct routes to almost everywhere we need to go.  Going up and down all the hills has been no fun in our icy/snowy recent weather!  Is there any news?” 
The out basket: I hadn’t realized this mighty chasm existed, being out of the weather-damage loop since I retired from the Kitsap Sun a year ago.
When I had read that Illahee Road was blocked by the Dec. 3 downpour, I figured it was down across from Brownsville Marina where slides had covered the road several times during the persistent heavy rain each year in the late 1990s.
I learned in checking out Pam’s concern that it was uphill from there, past Brownsville Elementary. So I went and looked at it.
A most impressive gulf, I must say. Probably 60 feet deep and very wide, it holds enormouse toppled maple trees. A wheel-less bicycle carcass I assume was thrown in since the washout is visible at the bottom.
Anyway, the latest dope on repair plans can be found on the Kitsap County Web site’s weekly Road Report, at www.kitsapgov.com/pw/roadwork.htm.
“Work has started on the design of a larger culvert that passes flood flows, satisfies resource agencies and accommodates fish passage,” it says. “Constructing a bridge was evaluated for this site but this option is not considered economically feasible.
“We hired consultants to complete a biological evaluation and a cultural resources assessment which are required for this project to be eligible for funding assistance from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
“The start date for construction depends on permit approval from resource agencies and the type of bidding process used. It is our desire to construct the culvert as an ’emergency’ project, with a simplified and significantly shortened plans preparation and bidding process. If we can do that, construction can start this summer.”
If they’re not allowed to do that, it would mean Pam and her neighbors probably are in for at least one more winter doubling back to McWilliams Road to get anywhere.

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