An oasis in the middle of Silverdale’s interchange


The in basket: Among the comments about the new freeway interchange in Silverdale that I’ve never addressed were ones sent in last year by Pete Day and Jeff Griswell. 

Pete wondered in September if there would be any landscaping added to the work. “It would look better than brown, dead grass,” he said.

And Jeff said in May of 2008 he’d been seeing places on two of the interchange ramps that don’t dry out after a rain like the rest of the road surfaces there do. They are on the on-ramp to southbound Highway 3 just west of Clear Creek Road and the ramp from northbound Highway 3 to eastbound Highway 303.

“In my mind, I see freezing temperatures causing ice buildup,” he said. “Also once the oil drippings start to build up, the moisture will cause more slick spots for any one that drives on them.” 

Both comments came to my mind this month when I noticed the project’s large runoff detention pond. Despite what may be a record hot, dry summer, it’s full of water. I think it’s an attractive amenity, but also perhaps evidence to support what Jeff says he sees.

I haven’t heard any complaints about slickness on either ramp, from winter ice or otherwise.

I asked Brenden Clarke, who was project engineer during the interchange construction, what could be feeding the pond in the absence of rainfall.

I also had asked him last year about Pete and Jeff’s comments.

The out basket: There are no funds for landscaping, Brenden said. And his staff didn’t find any evidence of water problems on those ramps.

As for the pond, it’s not as deep as it looks, he said last month. “The bottom of the pond is at ground water elevation, so if there is water in it there should be just a couple inches or so.  The most that could be in there is six inches, because that is the dead storage below the outflow pipe. 

Kitsap County’s Waaga Way extension project “shares this

facility,” he continued. “As a part of their construction they could possibly be doing some dewatering and sending water into the pond.  All the water that

goes into it from (our) project is storm water and with it as

dry as it has been there, should be none at this time.”

Jacques Dean, the county’s construction manager for the Waaga Way extension, said it doesn’t surprise him that there’s water in the pond. The contractor building a sewer line as part of the Waaga Way extension project ran into so much ground water in the 15-foot-deep trench in mid-July that it made it hard to lay the sewer pipe, he said. Jacques estimates that the lowest part that trench is close to the level of the pond. Workers didn’t get out of the water table until the sewer line moved uphill, he said.

I don’t know if all of this adds up to anything important. But at least Pete and Jeff got their questions recognized.

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