Second Manette Bridge roundabout just speculation for now

The in basket: Reading that city of Bremerton is contemplating creating a roundabout at the downtown end of the Manette Bridge, I studied the site as a passed through it, trying to imagine how a functional roundabout could be squeezed into it. I asked whether it would require cutting into the tall concrete wall with its matching stairwells on its west side, contorting the roundabout into some shape less than round, like the one on Anderson Hill Road in Central Kitsap, or some other strategy.

The out basket: It’s too early to say. The idea remains conceptual, but some preliminary drawings exist. The city recently took delivery of some first-cut drawings from a consultant that looked at how a 45-foot bus and a 50-foot truck would negotiate the roundabout in the space available today.

They showed that neither would be able to make a U-turn going all the way around. Even turning from the bridge onto Washington heading south would be a challenge for such a truck, which would require nearly the entire circle to get through, using the apron around the center as it passed, the drawings showed.

Of course, I don’t know that a 50-foot-long truck could make it all the way around the existing roundabout at the other end of the bridge, or if any truck that long would ever have occasion to use either roundabout. And as Chal Martin, the city’s public works director notes, no U-turn is possible at the existing traffic signal.

I asked Chal what benefits a roundabout would offer in place of the signal. He said, “I love roundabouts, especially for two-lane roads, and especially for three-way intersections like both ends of the Manette Bridge. They are functional and safe.  They handle truck traffic very well, so long as the truck aprons are properly designed to be easily mountable by the rear wheels of the truck. They are quiet – people let up on the gas pedal when they drive through, as opposed to signalized intersections. And they are a great architectural feature for many locations, providing an ‘entrance’ effect for the area or neighborhood.”

That said, he added that trying to create a roundabout at the west end of the bridge won’t occur soon, if ever.

“A couple of years ago the city council authorized a small investment to produce a conceptual design and cost estimate for a roundabout at that location, thinking ahead that this may be an option …  in the future,” Chal said. “There was considerable discussion at the time about installing a roundabout with the Washington Avenue project – but we didn’t have enough money. In the future it is possible that a roundabout could be installed in conjunction with a project that would reconstruct the north end of Washington, around the corner to 11th, and out to Warren Avenue. But that’s for later.

“The council has not made any decisions on such a project yet, and likely there are other projects that the city will pursue before coming back to this one.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Enter the word yellow here: