Gorst traffic called dangerous and congested

The in basket: JoAnne Stefanac wrote on March 16, “I see, yet again today, another accident in Gorst.  This time, northbound, which is not unusual for the AM commute.
“It seems as though, about once a week, we have some kind of accident in the stretch between the Tremont exit and the (Highway) 304 exit.  Some more severe than others, of course.  This morning, I was listening to KIRO radio and the traffic guy there said the backup was four miles due to the crash.
“Whenever there’s a crash, big backups ensue. I don’t think there are backups on a REGULAR (non-crash) day, but one little fender bender and then it’s a problem.
“The question is, how many MORE accidents, fender benders, injuries, deaths, and 3-5 (or more) mile inching-along backups do we have to have before SOMETHING is done about this particular stretch of road? Is anyone even keeping track of the mayhem that happens along this stretch most days?  It’s just so scary to drive along there.
“Seems you take your life in your hands and I feel for those who are subjected to it on a daily basis,” she said.
A somewhat related comment comes from Tom Baker, who e-mails to say, “I am starting to hear about a WSDOT project to replace  the Anderson Creek culvert, near where Anderson Hill Road SW intersects with Highway16.
“This project, and its traffic impacts, will certainly bring up a discussion of a Sinclair Inlet bridge (that would bypass Gorst). This subject comes up quite frequently, everyone says it should be done, but no real discussion of what it would cost and if it’s even feasible. One proposal was to create a bridge using mothballed aircraft carriers.
 “Can you dig into this, and see if WSDOT has ever considered this, along with costs and if its even possible?”
The out basket: Claudia Bingham Baker, spokeswoman for the Olympic Region of state highways, says, “WSDOT has a traffic study under way in that area. Funded by a grant received by the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council, part of the study will analyze traffic patterns and crash data through Gorst. The study is a necessary step toward identifying any future improvements through the area.”
She also reminded us of work expected in 2017 to revise the junction of highways 3 and 304 near Bremerton to let both southbound lanes of 3 continue through and require out-bound Bremerton traffic to enter at an on-ramp, which will affect traffic in the opposite direction of what JoAnne mentions.
I imagine that whatever consideration a bridge over Sinclair Inlet gets, it would be part of the traffic study. I’ve always heard that the shortest crossing presents significant steepness problems between the South Kitsap side and the Bremerton side, a serious issue when it’s icy or snowing.
Claudia said she had no comment on the subject of such a bridge.

4 thoughts on “Gorst traffic called dangerous and congested

  1. Why not make the lanes through Gorst as non lane changing. It’s the lane changers that slow the traffic flow down, I see it everymorning. Put up solid white lines, so the lane you choose before the solid white line is the lane you are stuck in. Another thought make the merge at the beginning of Gorst instead of at the end where the overpass merges too.

  2. Seems like Ms Baker sidestepped the question, when the answer is readily available on the WSDOT Gorst Planning web page — no a bridge will not be looked at as it was deemed too expensive in a 2012 Bremerton study, which only briefly looked at cost/feasibility. This seems like the wrong approach – shouldn’t the state be using their engineering expertise to look at all possible solutions? In the end, will WSDOT do little more than rehashing the Bremerton study?

  3. Cant wait for 2017!
    Without a dedicated lane for SR304 to merge to southbound Highway 3, the 4pm shipyard back-up will go from the on-ramp all the way to Callow, if not Burwell and Warren.

    Travis, do you have any links to any studies done that validated this proposal? It seems that the proposed modification just shifts the problem from one highway to the other, but doesn’t necessarily solve any of the congestion issues.

  4. Getting through Gorst would not be so bad, If those that drive down Hwy 3 kept up there speed. It is 50 mph. It does not drop till you get into Gorst. But yet those drivers just think its 40 all the way through the curves. And then as soon as it spreads to 3 lanes, all those angry drivers who got stuck driving slow tend to speed up around those slow drivers and yes accidents will happen.

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