Odd strip of new pavement on Wheaton Way

The in basket: I was intrigued by an odd paving project done on Wheaton Way north of Sheridan Road the week of June 14. It was a continuous narrow strip of new asphalt after the old was dug out, running north from in front of Albertson’s in the northbound outer lane.

The state’s project information list said it would run all the way to the city limits at Riddell Road and all the way back to Sheridan. I wondered what on earth required it. It looked like perhaps some past utility trench wasn’t repaired correctly.

The out basket: The project list description was misleading, as the dig-outs and pavement replacement took on the more familiar intermittent pattern after it got north of Sylvan Way. Only a few places were patched in the southbound direction, once again near the curb.

Duke Stryker, head of maintenance operations for state highways in Kitsap and Mason counties, said the street, which to the state is Highway 303, was identified as a trouble spot in their annual spring review in which a state materials engineer drives state highways with local maintenance crews to plan the year’s pavement repair.

Duke said the outer wheel rut carved by millions of cars over the years, worsened by water accumulating against the curb, caused the deterioration. The three wheel ruts farther from the curb didn’t have the excess water to worsen the wear. The outer rut pavement was badly “alligatored” and needed replacement, he said. .

It took them a week. This week (June 21) the crews are doing similar work on Highway 3 in Gorst. Tuesday and Wednesday, they’ll be closing the Purdy Bridge at the east end of Highway 302 to repave it. The Gorst and Purdy work will be done at night. Purdy traffic will be detoured via Pine Road and other local streets during the closures.

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