West Belfair Valley Road is as bad as it gets, city admits

The in basket: Josh Fullington has a question about the prospects for West Belfair Valley Road (Old Belfair Highway to many of us) getting a badly needed paving around the access to Gold Mountain Golf Course and nearby.

“I have grown up driving this road every day

and now drive it to and from work,” he said. “Maybe eight years ago, the road was repaved from around Bear Creek Store to McKenna Falls (Road). I expected them to pick up the next year and finish the rest of the road

because it is very bumpy and is constantly needing repair. I keep telling myself it will happen this year but after eight years its still not


“They have done some patching but that is clearly failing, giving

way to pot holes and tears in the pavement. Adding insult to injury, I noticed today that they just re-striped the road! New fog lines and

yellow lines!!! I am very curious what this road ‘scores’ on the

county’s road assessment and what, if any, plans there are for


“This road gets quite a lot of use and is very necessary if something is blocking on Highway 3 between Gorst and Belfair,” Josh said.

The out basket: The county’s scores for the road are irrelevant to Josh’s concerns. It was Kitsap County that did the paving a few years ago.

The stretch about which Josh is concerned is in the city of Bremerton, annexed years ago when the city annexed its watershed, which includes the golf course and hundreds of acres across the road.

Anyone who has been paying attention to news stories about the city’s street fund woes won’t be surprised that it hasn’t spent the hundreds of thousands needed to restore its portion of West Belfair Valley Road.

“Our last

road assessment in 2010 for the section of (the road) in the  city limits has it rated as poor to failing with a score below 50,” says Gunnar Fridriksson of the city’s engineering staff.

“Roadways below 50 typically can no longer be repaired, but need to be torn up and completely rebuilt.”

But there isn’t money for it. City officials even now are debating whether to impose a $15 or $20 auto tab add-on to better allow them to address the various needs on city streets.

By way of example, Gunnar says,  “Our last year for a substantial overlay/repair program was 2008, when we

spent about $250K.  Current projection for us to keep streets at existing 2011 condition (not upgrading, just no further deterioration) is about $800k a year.”

The city and just about every other jurisdiction responsible for public roadways restripe them every year, regardless of their condition.



4 thoughts on “West Belfair Valley Road is as bad as it gets, city admits

  1. Maybe the city should un-annex it and let someone who could care for it better do so…

    But that includes the mountain top, Gold Mountain golf course, and the airport…

  2. My memory of the Old Belfair Hwy goes back sixty years – it’s always been a slow curvy road – nothing has changed…other than the trees have grown up from the fire that ravished the area in ? year.

    I call it the scenic route to Belfair…

  3. The road is old, yes. however it is a very important one for residents in north Mason County and south Kitsap County. As far as ‘Slow’ the speed limit is 45 mph. with the bumps in corners and shade from trees many cars WILL slide off the road this winter.

  4. Josh, every winter we have areas where cars slide right off the road…Old Belfair Highway won’t be the only one and it probably gets minimal slippage due to experienced good winter drivers out that way.

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