SR166 shoulder cracks worry driver

The in basket: Sarah Harrison writes, “I am concerned about Highway 166 heading out of Port Orchard. I have noticed several slumps in the road for more than a month, and it seems to stretch for quite a ways this time.

“It started with dips at the edge, and now the paved road is cracking. Most of this currently lies outside of the fog line, but has been steadily progressing towards the road. I know that this has been a regular problem, and the road has been repaired several times.

“Are there any future plans for a permanent solution? Adding some kind of heavy duty seawall or something else to reduce the erosion seems like a reasonable idea, instead of repeated patching and repaving.

“I would not want to wait for tragedy before deciding it is time for a permanent solution,” she said.

I hadn’t noticed what Sarah had, but found at least three fractures that had slumped in the shoulder pavement along the straightaway just west of Ross Point when I went to look. Then there’s the slump in the westbound roadway on the east side of Ross Point, which was built up with additional asphalt last year. I can’t tell if it’s subsided any further.

Since the area west of Ross Point dropped away toward the water and was closed for months a couple of decades ago, I asked if there any special monitoring of this highway for conditions that could lead to slides from under the highway.

The out basket: Claudia Bingham-Baker of the state’s Olympic Region of state highways says, “We are aware of several areas along SR 166 that tend to settle.  Our maintenance crews keep a close eye on those areas and repair pavement sections as needed.

“WSDOT keeps a statewide database on slide/settlement areas, and fund long-term fixes to those areas on a priority basis. As you may imagine, the need for permanent repairs outweighs the funding for permanent repairs.

“The settlement areas along SR 166 do not rate high enough at this point to fund a permanent fix. Based on your reader’s observations, maintenance crews will go out to the area again to see if more pavement patches are needed.”



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