What’s new on Belfair Bypass?

The in basket: Julie Burghardt of Allyn writes, “I thought I had heard that the Belfair Bypass was finally being funded in the latest transportation plan but the DOT website doesn’t list it in its ‘2015 Highway Construction Current Law 6-Year Plan.’  They do list an improvement to the SR3-SR302 intersection as its own project now.
“Their preferred plan relocated the SR3-SR302 intersection to where the entrance to the North Mason schools off of 302 currently is, and brought the bypass in to meet them there.  The last report listed this as ‘subject to change’ because of new buildings and renovations at the schools, although those are all at the north side of the school property.
“Because the DOT doesn’t list the bypass but does list as a project something that used to be part of the bypass project, I was wondering if they’re going to do the (needed) safety improvement at SR3-SR302 now and do the bypass as part of the next 6-year plan (or the one after that). What’s the latest story?”
The out basket: Claudia Bingham Baker of the Olympic Region of state highways says, “Funding for the Belfair Bypass doesn’t begin until July 2019.  Even so, we believe the overall alignment for the bypass will remain as detailed in our environmental document,” which can be seen online at www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/SR3/SR3BelfairBypassEnvironmentalAssessment.
“We do plan to reach out to stakeholders and the public when design begins in July 2019 to address the connection points,” she said. “We believe that much passage of time, development in the corridor, a fresh look at traffic patterns and public input may affect the ultimate decision on the connections.  We will also have to refresh our environmental document.
“Consequently we do not have a firm answer to your questions.  The SR 3/SR 302 project your reader mentioned was removed from the books once the Belfair Bypass project was funded, so it will no longer be built as a separate project.
“Given that it’s six years out, we don’t have a web page up yet. We do have plans to get a web page active in the not-too-distant future.”

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