The in basket: “Is that all there is?” asks Bill Slach of South
Kitsap in an e-mail that echoes Peggy Lee’s musical question of a
few decades ago.
“The grading and paving of the portion of Sedgwick Road just
east of Highway 16 seems nearly complete,” he said. “Is that all
they are doing? Why no turn lanes for the intersecting
streets? They have lots of room on the south side of the road to
extend the paving. It’s as if they didn’t widen the road at
He told of a car stalled “going up the hill from the
intersection and right after the wide part narrows down. With
oncoming traffic there wasn’t enough room to get around unless you
waited for a break,” he said. “The car was as far to the right as
possible which would have been on the bike, walking, or shoulder
lane but it wasn’t enough. All that money and they didn’t
improve the street but a few inches, if that.” Bill said.
The out basket: It probably will be better when the project is
complete, with some gravel on the shoulders beyond the pavement
providing some extra width, but other than that, what you see is
what you’ll get.
It became quite an issue last year when Don Ryan, Darlene Piper,
Tom Myers, Jim Avery and other owners of property on or near
Sedgwick on that side of Bethel Avenue mounted an eleventh-hour
attempt to modify the project plans to add turn lanes, at their
expense. State officials said such a change would have required
that they reopen the environmental review process and they went
ahead with the original plans. Project Engineer Brenden Clarke
explains it this way:
“With the limited funds for the project, the turn lanes were
only added to the intersections on the east side of Bethel
that have experienced the highest number of
accidents. The intersections in that area have much
higher volumes of turning traffic.
“The area between Highway 16 and Bethel does get widened
shoulders and slope flattening that allows drivers to see stopped
or slow traffic. The odds would have been much higher that
the disabled car would have been struck had it not been for the
recent improvements that have been made to the highway.
“I agree that turn lanes would have been nice throughout the
project, but funds did not allow them to be constructed as a part
of this project,” Brenden said. “We are doing the most improvements
possible with the available funding.”
I also asked Brenden if there would be any work outside the
orange mesh barriers along the highway between Jackson Avenue and
Long Lake Road.
He said no, but the highway will be widened at Phillips Road to
accommodate a left turn lane and there will be some widening at
Long Lake Road to improve the turn radius from Long Lake to
You can read more about the project on line at
www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr160/sr16_longlake/. Among the
information there is the total price tag – $8.24 million. The
contractor is being paid $3.15 million, which is the amount shown
on the signs at each end of the project. The rest includes $3.25
million to buy right of way for this work and future expansion –
$100,000 more than the construction contract. Design, engineering
and environmental mitigation are also included, Brenden says.