State will repair Mile Hill’s rough pavement

The in basket: Bill Bellman and Bob Baxter wrote me earlier this year about the spot half-way up Mile Hill in Port Orchard where the pavement had developed shallow patches where the upper layer of asphalt had chipped away. The  surface is quite rough.

Bill said in February, “I believe you wrote in the past about the 200 feet or so of Mile Hill Drive where we who drive it daily weave around pot holes in the section of road that has not been maintained.

“The issue I believe was who was responsible for this strip, the city, the county or the state.  It seems by now the issue of responsibility should have been resolved and the short section repaired and repaved.

“Can you determine the status of who is responsible and when we can expect this section to be repaired?” he asked.

Bob wrote in April, “My concern is the removal of the trees along Mile Hill road in Port Orchard. The road surface from the stop light up the hill and on both sides has many pot holes in it.

“To spend the money taking the trees down along the road needlessly is not a good decision. Instead the potholes should have been taken care of. Who makes these decisions and how are they held accountable?”

The out basket: The Legislature assigned the care of that stretch, the last few hundred feet of Highway 166 before it becomes a county road, to the state over a year ago. The state had hinted that it should be the city of Port Orchard’s responsibility, but the city got help from local legislators and was able to turn back that attempt.

Robert mistakenly linked the tree cutting and the road work. The trees were cut on Puget Sound Energy’s dime, as part of a new $4 million power transmission line to help prevent outages in Manchester. That money couldn’t have been spent on road work.

Duke Stryker, head of state highway maintenance here, said the site had “fallen off our radar” until I sent copies of Bill and Bob’s inquiries to him. He and some of his employees visited that area on July 3 and saw that something needed to be done.

You can see white paint on the pavement bracketing where they soon will be digging out the old pavement and replacing it with new. Duke said it should be done sometime in the next four weeks and probably will take only a day.

Technically those aren’t pot holes, though. Pot holes go all the way down to the road base and can be quite destructive to cars’ tires and suspensions. The problems on Mile Hill are called “delaminations,” when a previous layer of pavement is exposed when a later one wears away in patches.

2 thoughts on “State will repair Mile Hill’s rough pavement

  1. “The Legislature assigned the care of that stretch, the last few hundred feet of Highway 166 before it becomes a county road, to the state over a year ago. The state had hinted that it should be the city of Port Orchard’s responsibility, but the city got help from local legislators and was able to turn back that attempt.”

    In 2010, Senator Derek Kilmer sponsored a bill at my request as Mayor that made it clear it is the state’s responsibility to maintain not only this state highway, but ANY state highway running through a City, up to a specific population threshold. Prior to that, there were two conflicting statues covering that issue, and the state used that as an excuse to not maintain that stretch of road.

    Representative Jan Angel supported the bill in the House in the Local Government Committee, moving it forward, and I testified in front of the House Transportation Committee, where Senator Christine Rolfes, then a State Representative, supported it. The bill passed, and I attended the bill signing ceremony along with Senator Kilmer.

    The City began requesting that the State fix this problem about a week after the bill became law, and it has taken this long for the State to act. Better late than never I guess.

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