Monthly Archives: July 2012

Extend Myhre Road barricade, says Silverdale couple

The in basket: Pat and Sherri Burch of Silverdale said in an e-mail, “We are tired of playing dodge the U-Turn drivers on NW Myhre Road.  It has gotten to the point of (being) dangerous.  Ever since the No Left Turn sign and barricades went up just North of Ridgetop on Myhre where everyone used to turn for Costco, drivers have gotten creative. “They now stop in the turnout for the bus stop and make a U-Turn. We have learned to look for these errant drivers.  Can the county extend the barricades just past the bus stop?  Drivers must not be aware that they can make a left turn a few hundred yards down the road into Lowe’s which feeds into Costco parking. There WILL be a serious accident if this situation is not resolved soon.”

The out basket: Jeff Shea, Kitsap County traffic engineer, says,  “We are aware of the situation.  We are coordinating with the sheriff’s department on this issue and continue to monitor it for complaints and reported collisions.  If it becomes a bigger problem, we would consider continuing the curbing to the bus stop.”



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.

Nalley Valley work impacts speed limits, but not one scary merge

The in basket: Bill Howell wrote Wednesday to say, “I drove Highway 16 today on my way to Seattle and noticed that the speed limit has changed. Eastbound the speed limit is 60 until just before Pearl (in Tacoma). Westbound the speed limit is 60 starting at I-5. Yea!!!”

It’s still 55 eastbound from Pearl Street until you get to the 40 mph construction area at Sprague, he said.

The out basket: That increase from 55 to 60 mph has been on hold at the State Patrol’s request until the work where Highway 16 joins I-5 at Nalley Valley is complete. That milestone was reached almost exactly a year ago for westbound traffic, so the speed limit has just been raised in the entire westbound direction.

Work remains to be done in the eastbound direction, but Lisa Copeland, spokesman for the Olympic Region or state highways, says, “We have begun to raise the speed limit on SR 16 at the request of the public and with support from the WSP.

As I worked on Bill’s e-mail, I came across an earlier inquiry about the Nalley Valley work from Michael Drouin of Bremerton, sent in February. He said, “The on ramp for I-705 and Pacific Avenue to I-5 South merge at the same point that southbound I-5 drivers are attempting to exit I-5 to SR16. This location is always extremely dangerous to navigate. Are there plans for the Nalley Valley interchange (work) to eliminate this hazard?”

I share Michael’s unease when trying to move right into traffic entering I-5 from downtown Tacoma, especially if it’s dark and rainy. I hadn’t occurred to me until I was talking with Claudia Bingham-Baker of the state DOT’s public affairs staff, but it’s probably just as scary for those coming up that on-ramp wanting to merge left and continue south on I-5.

Alas, that “weave,” as engineers call it, will remain as it has been after all the Nalley Valley work is done, Claudia said. Work scheduled for 2020, however, will provide a safer route from I-5 to westbound Highway 16 for one stream of traffic – high occupancy vehicles traveling southbound on I-5..

HOV lanes will be built there in both directions on I-5 in 2020, and a flyover bridge will be built to provide a protected route for those HOVs southbound to Highway 16, she said. Otherwise, any driver in the southbound HOV lane would have to merge right across both general use southbound lanes to get to the flow heading to Highway 16 and then merge into that.