Looking for details in Lower Wheaton Way project

The in basket: With work beginning on the improvements to Lower Wheaton Way in East Bremerton between the Manette Bridge and Lebo Boulevard, I had some questions I hadn’t seen answered otherwise.

Notably, I wondered whether yellow flashing left turn lights will be added to the Lebo-Old Wheaton intersection in the shadow of Harrison Medical Center and whether the flashing lights that will call attention to pedestrians in the crosswalk at 18th Street and Old Wheaton will be like the ones in downtown Port Orchard, with lights in the pavement.

I also wondered how they made up the shortfall of a couple hundred thousand dollars they were talking about last winter in paying for the project.

I had suggested that they could save a bundle by keeping the north side sidewalk, which could be widened just by scraping off dirt and vegetation that had accumulated on it. I didn’t really expect them to go for that, but I asked if that sidewalk will be replaced along the entire length of the project.

The out basket: Gunnar Fridriksson, managing engineer for Bremerton streets, says there no longer will be a signal of any kind at Lebo and Old Wheaton, which will be converted to a four-way stop, probably today.

“The removal of the signal at Lebo is permanent,” he said. “There is not sufficient traffic to justify keeping the signal. We will be reusing the poles (as we did at 6th and 11th on Pacific) to hang illuminated street signs for the intersection and rebuilding all the sidewalks/ramps, as well.”

The 18th Street crosswalk flashers won’t be in the pavement, but on poles at each end of the crosswalk, like those Kitsap County has installed at Foster and Central Valley roads and numerous other places. They will flash “when activated by pedestrians using a push button,” he said. “Because of the tree canopy in this area, this system will be hard wired versus using solar panels.”

Sidewalks on both sides of Old Wheaton will be replaced and the one on water side will be widened to 10 feet.

They used some money set aside to match grants that may be forthcoming later in the year to fill out the Lower Wheaton Way project budget, but hope it won’t all be needed, he said.

“We are working with the contractor to see if there are cost savings to be realized by making some changes to the features so we can put the money back,” he said.

“We relooked at the street lighting and believe using a single fixture pole instead of the dual as originally bid will work just fine.  Plus possibly revising the (asphalt) overlay by reducing the thickness, using fencing instead of Jersey barrier at Schley Canyon, and a number of other options.”

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One thought on “Looking for details in Lower Wheaton Way project

  1. A cost saving measure seems like it would be to decrease the width of the sidewalks. 10′ seems like overkill to me. There seems no valid reason why it couldn’t be 7-8′ and still be perfectly usable for joggers and walkers.

    Also, the 30′ height for the lights seems rather excessive as well. Couldn’t they be decreased to a more modest height? Is there any reason they need to be so tall?

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