Turning overpasses into interchanges

The in basket: I talked with long-time South Kitsapers Agnes Stornelli and Bernice Ohman at the 95th birthday party of one of their contemporaries, Alice Carlson Larson, recently and they asked me what the chances are that an interchange might be developed at what those of us who have lived here as long as we have call Nelson’s Corner.

It’s midway between the Sedgwick and Mullenix interchanges and already has an overpass, so would just need ramps.

They argue that traffic, especially large trucks, could use such an interchange to reach points along roads like Lider and Bielmeier would no longer have to congest Sedgwick Road  with its long slow climb up from the freeway.

I choose to couch their question in comparison to two other local places with ramp-less over- or underpasses that could benefit from ramps – 144th Street in Purdy and Anderson Hill Road on Highway 3 in Silverdale.

An Anderson Hill Road interchange came up again at the recent public meeting about the planned roundabout at Newberry Hill Road and Chico Way, as it always seems to in long-range Silverdale traffic planning meetings.

The out basket: Prospects for any of the three freeway crossings getting on- or off-ramps in the near future are slim, but the Purdy location stands the best chance.

Ron Landon of the state Transportation Department, says, “I believe putting an interchange at (Highway) 16 in Purdy at144th is an alternative being looked at as part of the (Highway) 302 Alignment/Corridor Study. But we’re a long way from breaking ground on that one. No firm decisions about the corridor study have been made and there is no funding available for design or construction.

“I … doubt there’d be much support for another interchange is this area after we just built Burley-Olalla,” he said, adding that available money is more likely to go toward eliminating at-grade intersections like Burley-Olalla used to be.

“Ramps are added to over-crossings,” he said. “It’s not very common, but it has been done.”

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