Sedgwick Road backups may get studied

The in basket: I get occasional complaints about the growing congestion on Sedgwick Road in South Kitsap on either side of Highway 16.

The first one, a couple of years ago, mentioned backups eastbound from Sidney Road past Bethel Road in the afternoon, but most lately discuss the long backups at the Bethel Road signal going westbound, toward Highway 16.

One recent Saturday afternoon, those who got through that backup found themselves in another one, from the freeway almost to Ramsey Road. I was one of them and wasn’t expecting that.

I asked state highway folks if they are working on anything to address Sedgwick’s problems.

The out basket: Claudia Bingham-Baker spokeswoman for the Olympic Region of state highways says, “WSDOT received funding to conduct a study along SR 16 that identifies contributors to highway congestion.  “We expect, as part of that study, to look at interchanges between the Tacoma Narrows bridges and SR 3 and identify potential strategies to reduce congestion.”

10 thoughts on “Sedgwick Road backups may get studied

  1. That WSDOT statement did a fine job of not addressing Highway 160 (Sedgwick Road) backups at all. But it’s nice to know they have the funding to study the SR 16 corridor.

  2. I recently saw a Kitsap Sun article announcing a $2 million study on improving the HWY 16 corridor, especially the Bremerton End. So I will offer my observations:

    1. Sedgewick Intersection: a) East bound-remove the sidewalk to nowhere, allowing a right turn into Lowes. That will reduce the surges occurring at the next light. B) North bound exit from Hwy 16-expand roadway to allow for much longer left and right turn lanes.
    c) South Bound exit from Hwy 16- expand roadway to allow for much longer left and right turn lanes.
    d) West bound Sedgwick-expand the roadway to allow for a right turn lane (a long one)-that traffic backs up to Bethel some nights.

    2. In Gorst hwy 16/3 intersection-build the causeway that has been discussed for the last 45 years.The volume of traffic is drastically slowed the the 40/30 mph limit curve in Gorst.

    3. Tacoma toll both: hire enough toll takers to reduce backup lines. I’ve seldom seen more than 2 lanes open. Also have the toll takers hand out “good to go” applications with each toll paid.

    I know the causeway is a pipe dream, but the other observations are achievable.

    1. The problem with a Good to Go pass, is the fact that a person has to drive to Gig Harbor to the only office to get the pass. There are places that you can reload it or just do it online. But to get the pass. One Office on the peninsula . So people either cant get there in time before 5 or no time to get to do it an Saturday and there are times when Saturday lines are so long it kills a half a day. Plus I there are no applications. Your info is entered by hand when you go in.

      1. Some retail stores sell Good To Go passes. Most area Fred Meyer, QFC, and Walgreens stores should have them:

        The website to buy a GoodToGo pass online is here:

        Downloadable forms are at the bottom of this page:

        They should be able to process an order by phone: 1-866-936-8246

        And then there are customer service offices in Seattle and Bellevue along with Gig Harbor.

  3. A few years ago I asked, “Is that all there is?” when they paved the portion of Sedgwick between Bethel and SR 16. There should be a right turn lane at the freeway and a center turn lane at Geiger now that the pot shop is attracting drivers.

  4. Another study which will take at least a year after which their will be more discussion on what to do and then more studies on how to get it done. I’ll be my grave before this congestion will even get close to being remedied. A quick solution to some of the problem would be to have a Hwy 16 off ramp onto Bethel at the Bethel overpass with Hwy 16. However this will never happen because it solves some of the problem and WSDOT is not really in the business of solving problems quickly. Think Belfair bypass and the congestion in Purdy at the Purdy bridge.

  5. I agree with Bill Slach.
    When the wide shoulders were added to Sedgwick between HWY 16 and Bethel Road, a prime opportunity to create, at the very least, a wide roadway with good shoulders and a center turn lane such as Mile Hill Dr. has from Warner St. to Colchester Drive was lost.
    A better solution would have been to anticipate development in South Kitsap and build a four-lane roadway, connecting one major artery (HWY 16) and another (Bethel Road). Even better, all the way to Sidney Rd.
    Unfortunately, from my observation, WSDOT has no ability to anticipate future needs. They relegate their efforts to “playing catch-up” and design for the current traffic needs which are obsolete before the project is begun.

    1. I, too, was surprised when they spent millions on the Sedgwick to Bethel stretch, but didn’t increase capacity. While it’s a safer 2-lane road, it’s still a 2-lane road. Four-lane roads in and out of town at the Sedgwick and Tremont exits are a must.

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