Bethel Road, a year later

The in basket: John Susan says “For many years now I have driven Bethel Road between Sedgwick and just passed Walgreens where Bethel splits with Mitchell. To me it just keeps getting worse every year! Badly sunken manhole covers that you need to avoid, sunken and cracked ruts that are breaking apart and after you pass the light at Walmart, the road is so badly uneven and cracked you can’t find a smooth part.

“My question is simple,” he said, “does anyone in this county care enough to have this fixed!!!

The out basket: Things have progressed slightly since Rance McEntyre and Richard Hood asked essentially the same question in a Road Warrior column a year ago.

It’s no longer the county’s problem, but the city of Port Orchard is trying to do something about it. It annexed the road a few years back and has been trying to find money to make improvements.

But they won’t be the multi-million dollar improvements the county designed when it had the project. Instead, Mark Dorsey, Port Orchard public works director, has

$325,000 to spend on making it a little better this year. The work is being designed by a consultant, and likely will be a series of dig-outs and patching to smooth the roughest areas.

Mark says what will be done where and how much of the $325K will remain when the consultant is done won’t be know until the design is finished.

As for next year and beyond, last year he said, “We’ve inherited a very large problem to deal with, and first we must redesign the (county’s) plan to break it into phases we can get funding for. And we must acquire the right of way, because the county didn’t.”

Now he adds,”There has been no specific city council direction on the Bethel Corridor redesign, other than the public outreach/redesign process will commence in 2015.

“But with the significant changes to transportation funding over the past six years…..I personally do not think the current county-prepared plan is viable in its current state.”

One thought on “Bethel Road, a year later

  1. A recent media post addressed the Bethel Corridor problem and more correctly it is the county’s Bethel Road problems. The Corridor problem was started by Kitsap County against a huge percentage of citizen comment opposing the project because the county was insolvent at the time, no money to spend, and they are not clear of that problem yet. So what is the best way to remove debt from your accounting records? Move it somewhere else like to Port Orchard. The media post only talks about a short stretch of Bethel Road, however, I know for a fact that this county has not taken care of Bethel clear to the county line in Purdy. Additionally, I know that Bethel does not have the load rating to handle the 30 to 50 ton dump trucks that run on it 7 days a week. So, what is the problem with this situation?

    Well the first problem is the fact that neither the county nor the city of Port Orchard have the money to do road maintenance because the money is spent on stupid unneeded projects like land grabs for county and city trails. By the way Port Orchard hired a consultant to figure out how to take the trail land without paying for it.

    The second problem is also a county project. The Bethel-Mullinex intersection improvement to cut down on accidents with the “Midas Touch.” They installed a southbound Bethel turn lane for Mullinex, brilliant. They put larger radiuses on the corners on Mullinex where it meets Bethel, brilliant. They established a right turn lane on Mullinex for traffic heading north on Bethel, not brilliant because people determine that to be a “free right turn lane” and they now precede right around the corner without stopping for Bethel traffic. The other thing that happens is the free right turn traffic comes around the corner and immediately stops on Bethel to turn onto Spencer Road which they cannot do if there is a car or two in the left turn lane on Bethel because the turn lane blocks access to Spencer Road, brilliant piece of engineering. The guardrail on the Mullinex “free right turn lane” is already dented in by dump trucks that can’t negotiate the installed turn radius.

    I talked about two projects here to illustrate that there seems to be a serious lack of combined mental ability, engineering ability, and the lack of funds to do these projects in both of the agencies. This statement is clearly supported by the fact that both these agencies blow taxpayer funds to hire consultants for the projects and now PO is hiring a consultant for the road situation. For PO this is the second consultant in roughly six months, the previous one was for the land grab for trails. I believe that I just justified a lack of capacity and competence in both these agencies, but lets throw that out the window and discuss a very serious problem with road money as controlled by this state.

    Lets go right for the throat. The Democrats have controlled this state for over three decades or more and they operate on a “spend then tax” basis to fund projects. Democrats ignore voter rejection on ballots for construction projects e.g. the Narrows bridge, Seattle Viaduct, Seattle Tunnel to name a few and they progress against voter wishes. Here is the road money issue. This state established the Lottery back in the 1970’s for the specific and express purpose to fund schools and roads statewide. This state now has roughly 25 lottery games that pull in hundreds of thousand dollars a day statewide, millions a month statewide, and billions a year statewide to be used solely for schools and state roads. The law as voters were told did not restrict the road money to state roads only, it was stated that the money was for all roads.

    I now have a question based on the small sampling of facts that I have just put forth here.

    Democrats, I ask you now, “What have you used all of the Lottery “school and road money” for over the last 36-40 years?” It is very apparent that the funds have not been doled out as designated otherwise state roads, Kitsap county roads, and PO’s roads would be in excellent repair, there would be no Democrat State Supreme Court demands for school money, and there would be no local school levy demands for money.

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