Reader finds rush hour road job ill-timed

The in basket: Pete Wimmer of Silverdale e-mailed me on July 31 to say, “This morning coming in to work, a road crew (don’t know if it was city, county or state) was in the process of taking up the old crosswalk stripes at the corner of National and Loxie Eagans (in Bremerton). I can fully understand that it needs to be clearly marked for the school, but 6:30 a.m. is not the time.

“Now mind you that the backup was minimal, in the big picture of things, Loxie Eagans to the northbound Highway 3 on-ramp light, but to have started it after 7:30 might have been better.”

The out basket: Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works says it was a county crew and it wasn’t starting early, it was finishing late.

“Our crews completed that work as part of an overnight work assignment of several intersections like that one,” he said. “The crew you saw working there was actually finishing up their overnight work projects and felt they could get that particular intersection done that morning. We usually try to wrap up overnight work by 6 o’clock but since the crew was out there they felt it would be efficient to get it done while they were in the area.

“We do try to minimize disruptions to traffic and don’t usually work during the rush hour.”

I hadn’t realized that the county had taken a page from state contract crews in doing road work at night. I asked how common it was.

“During the summer months we shift a crew to overnight work to focus on intersection and crosswalk striping as well as thermoplastic applications,” Doug said. “This minimizes the impact on motorists due to the lower traffic volumes.”

Thermoplastic is the material used in pavement arrows and many crosswalks and is melted onto the asphalt surface in lieu of paint.


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