Motorcycles crash at slick spot on Highway 3

The in basket: Way back last fall there were several incidents in which motorcyclists crashed after hitting a slick spot left on a seam between new and old pavement on the newly widened Highway 3 south of Sunnyslope.
One of them, Craig Smith of Bremerton High School, called it to my attention and Joseph Hunter also wrote about it. Craig said his bike was badly damaged.
Joseph described one of the incidents. “It was a light shower about 1 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon,” he said. “(Craig) was on his way
home with two other riders. The seam of the new pavement developed from the centerline and transitioned 5-10 degrees towards the shoulder.
“This liquid cools relatively quickly, resulting in a very glass-like finish. When wet, the surface is very slick…,” Joseph said.
“When the first bike crossed the seam in
the left tire track,” he said, “the wheels slipped, causing the rear wheel to come around just enough to develop a porpoise effect. The first rider lost
control and went down.” The second rider also fell trying to avoid the first.
The incident was mentioned in the November edition of Mike Dalgaard’s “Quick Throttle” magazine, a local biker’s publication. “Be vigilant, be aware and look ahead for ‘shiny’ spots when in an area that has recently been worked on,” the magazine advised, adding a request for rock chips or some other non-skid product to such seams.
The state quickly went out last fall and roughed up the seams on Highway 3, making them safer.
The out basket: For one reason or another, it took me months to get a usable state comment on this, probably because the fallen motorcyclists have filed claims for their damages and lawyers don’t like their clients to make out-of-court comment on pending issues.
I reckoned the slickness problem was either a new procedure or an old one in which a final step had been omitted.
Lisa Murdock of the state’s Olympic Region this month sent me this comment:
“The overlay between the old and new pavement is not something new. What
typically happens is the overlay gets seasoned with wear and tear. In this section, our crews went back out and ground the sealant to speed up the ‘seasoning’ or traction process.
“I believe this case was sent to our tort claim office and, you’re right – until we know the legal ramifications – we can’t speak to the specific incident/issue,” she said.

One thought on “Motorcycles crash at slick spot on Highway 3

  1. Re H A R reception. 5/26. Memorial Day we took the Kingston Ferry, HAR light was flashing, tuned to 530 AM, BAD SIGNAL! I don’t believe for one second the car radios are to blame. DOT has problems.

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