Agate Pass Bridge called a ‘black hole”

The in basket: Richard Holl said in a March e-mail that the Agate Pass Bridge in North Kitsap needs better lighting.

“At night the bridge becomes a black hole that absorbs light,” he said.” All you can see is the oncoming lights of the cars  coming at you. You can’t see the sides, the center line, the bridge walkway. Nothing.”

“God forbid if anyone sticks their arm out from the walkway. All a driver can do is aim for the middle of the blackness on their side of the road and hope for the best. Maybe you can see better  if there is no oncoming traffic but I couldn’t tell you the last time I crossed that bridge at night when there was no oncoming traffic,” Richard said.

“Contrast that to the new (Greaves Way in Silverdale) where there is very little traffic. I bet you can see that road from space at night. If you roped the road off, you could play a ball game under those lights.

“I know they are different projects and different funds, yada, yada, yada but what the hell ever happened to a little common sense?”

The out basket: Steve Bennett, the traffic operations engineer for the Olympic Region replies, “The standards for lighting on a bridge state the bridge should be lit at the same level as the rest of the corridor.  As there is not continuous lighting on the corridor, there is no requirement for lighting on the bridge.

“We also checked the collision rate on the bridge and found that in the last 11 years almost 90 percent of the collisions occurred in the daytime and it is not clear that any of the  night time collisions would have been prevented with the addition of lighting.

“Of the twelve collisions that occurred at dawn/dusk/night, eight were rear end collisions,” Steve said. “It is unlikely that night-time lighting would have helped prevent these because the brake lights of cars tend to show up better without overhead lighting.

“An additional three crashes occurred because drivers lost control of their vehicle and struck the bridge rail,” he said.

2 thoughts on “Agate Pass Bridge called a ‘black hole”

  1. There is a very cheap solution. The county could spend less than $1000 including labor to put sticky back reflective tape on the railings and trusses.

  2. Chris,
    The only trouble with your solution is that the County doesn’t own the bridge. It belongs to the State. The solution you offer sounds like a good idea to me. I wonder if a phone call or letter to the Department of Transportation would work.

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