Phantom lane closures in Highway 305 project

The in basket: Steve Herron of Poulsbo says he drives every day through the new construction corridor on Highway 305 and is getting upset.
“The contractor there is constantly blocking off lanes and closing sections when absolutely no work is going on,” he said. “It’s ridiculous! The last two weeks, traffic has been a mess because the contractor closes lanes on both sides and then some minor work takes places a mile from the closure.
“I am all for worker safety,” Steve said ” but this contractor is saving money by closing the lanes he THINKS he might be working on SOMETIME during the day. Instead he could spend the money to have people put in cones as they are needed, when the work is ready to be done.

“I am retired so I travel this corridor many times during the day and I have seen this so many times during construction. Many times I have felt like just mowing down every one of his cones and opening the lane because there is no reason for it to be closed.
“This contractor is unaware or doesn’t care how many backups he causes and gas that is used sitting and idling while his fake closures take their toll,” Steve said. “Can’t someone make this guy toe the line?
The out basket: Traffic control, as highway builders call lane closures, is a labor intensive item and contractors try not to have their people constantly moving around the control devices.
Jerry Moore, the state’s project engineer for the Highway 305 work, had this to say:
“I understand what Steve is talking about.  I met with my inspectors and the contractor about reducing the length of lane closures. There was some adjustment last Monday while I was at the site, but not much.
 “Here is the problem,” Jerry said, “With the paving completed, there are a lot of little things that need to be done throughout the project. Some of the work is being done by the prime contractor, some is being done by subcontractors. There can be four or five operations happening at once at different locations.
“Because the work is minor, a particular work operation can often jump to a new location as the day goes on.  Currently we have guardrail being installed, signals being worked on, pavement markings being laid out for placement, adjustment of utility covers, minor grading and paving adjustments, and work at the wetland mitigation site. 
 “There are only two sequential arrow signs on site and a sequential arrow sign is required when closing one of two lanes that go in the same direction,” Jerry said.”It does not work very well to close a short section of lane, then the next section be open, then the next section be closed again. This creates an undesirable weaving of traffic.”

One thought on “Phantom lane closures in Highway 305 project

  1. Thanks for bringing this up, Steve. I work here in Poulsbo and everyday when I am out and about in the middle of the day either running errands for myself or conducting business for my employer, I have noticed this problem. They will close both sides all the way from Hostmark to Bond and typically all you see is ONE guy working in the enclosed area with a shovel or a rake. I pretty much just use Finn Hill anymore.
    I understand they have a job to do and I slow down and watch for them. After 3 years of this uncoordinated excess, my patience is running thin with some of their procedures.

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