About those narrower lanes on new Manette bridge

The in basket: Several comments on the Road Warrior blog at kitsapsun.com expressed amazement and/or alarm after a

Sept. 16 column said the driving lanes on the new Manette Bridge in Bremerton will be a foot narrower than those on the old bridge.

Others felt the new span’s five-foot shoulders where now there are none, make it no problem.

I asked Jeff Cook, the state’s project engineer on the job, for the rationale behind narrowing the vehicle lanes.

The out basket: “The various components of the bridge were sized to fit in with the

city’s revitalization plans now and in the future,” Jeff said. “Manette, like most

bridges, serves as a medium to tie together the pedestrian and vehicular

routes as well as the communities on either side of the Narrows.

“I think an important perspective to keep in mind is that the current 12-foot

lanes (with no shoulders) constrict to approximately 10-foot lanes (with no

shoulders) at the main truss span.  (Ever have to stop in the middle of

the bridge because a bus was coming through the truss from the other

direction?) The new structure provides 11-foot lanes with 5-foot’ shoulders.  The change to vehicles is a significant increase in lateral space.

The bridge provides 12′ feet of sidewalk where users are currently allowed

the 4-foot space.”

The bridge also has fewer piers to affect maritime activities, he said..

“So, the new bridge improves the accessibility and available space for

vehicles and pedestrians and bicyclists and boats,” he concluded

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