Tag Archives: Bay Street

PO lane closure for extension of shoreline trail

The in basket: A short stretch of one of the three lanes that comprise Bay Street in Port Orchard has been closed and its traffic detoured into the center two-way turn lane, prohibiting left turns at Seattle and Rockwell streets and pedestrian use of the north side of the street,

I figured it was for work to extend the city boardwalk trail eastward. Steve Slayton of the Port of Bremerton gave me a call before I asked about it, and confirmed that that’s one purpose of the work.

The out basket: The city of Port Orchard ultimately would like to have the trail extend all the way to Retsil, I think, and has made the next extension part of the port’s project to enlarge its Marina Park, where summer concerts and year-round playground activity occur.

It will be passive recreation project with a viewing platform built atop part of the foundation of one of two houses to be demolished. One is half gone, he said, and the other will bereaved shortly. There also will be a stairwell to the beach near the Marlee Apartments, which will be the eastern end of the trail for the time being when the project is finished in May, he said.

I’ve always wondered how residents of the two homes managed to come and go via their steep accesses, and Steve said it’s a tight fit for the trucks removing the rubble, which requires the extra room provided by the lane closure. It will be closed probably until mid-April, Steve said.

I’ve never understood why so many pedestrians use the water side of the street, which has no improvements for them, and there is a sidewalk on the other side. Its temporary closure to them seems to me to be a good thing.

10-feet of power line has held up new PO signals

 

The in basket: Work seems to have come to a standstill on the new downtown Port Orchard traffic signal at Bay Street and Sidney Avenue. Meanwhile, the old cable-hung signals continue to work on timers, requiring that every direction get a green light, whether any traffic is waiting for that movement or not. I asked what is going on.

The out basket: It boils down to a conflict over who is responsible for running the final 10 feet of electrical wire to get power to the new pole-mounted lights, say state and city officials.

As you might expect, Port Orchard Public Works Director Mark Dorsey and the state project office and its second-in-command, Andy Larson, disagree about who is at fault. 

The city says the state didn’t do something when it was supposed to and the state says the city was supposed to provide the connection as part of an ongoing project to put the downtown power lines underground, and didn’t.

Puget Sound Energy is a third player in the conflict. Andy said the state offered to put in the wire, but PSE said that wasn’t permissible because of the nature of the agreement it has with the city for the undergrounding.

But a recent meeting worked out how to get power to the poles and it was installed Thursday or Friday of last week, Andy tells me. 

There remain perhaps two weeks of work before the new signals are operational, he said.

It will be the end of the long-time opportunity to slide past cars waiting at the lights in order to make a right turn, he said. Where the big new poles don’t block the outside lane, curb “bulb-outs” to shorten the walk for pedestrians crossing the streets will. All four corners will get the bulb-outs, which have yet to be poured.

For some time, I (and, I think, many others) have tried to avoid the backup on Bay Street eastbound by using Prospect Street and Sidney to make a right turn onto Bay when the light on Sidney northbound is green. Those days soon will be over.

The 50-year-old existing lights and poles will be removed when the new lights are working. 

The new lights will be controlled by traffic detectors. You can see the camera-like overhead motion detectors that will sense waiting traffic on Sidney atop two of the cross arms. Detection on Bay Street will be by in-pavement wires, as it was in all directions there before last summer’s paving.

Reasons for new downtown PO traffic light

 

The in basket: Tracy in Port Orchard, who didn’t leave her last name, cut to the chase regarding the long-delayed new traffic signal in downtown Port Orchard, which still isn’t operational, and asked why the old lights were replaced at all. “It looks like they’re adding a couple huge street lights there too,” she added.

The out basket: Don Anders in the Olympic Region signal shop for state highways, says, “The existing signal system is 50 years old, the existing wood poles are in very poor condition, and we found that to rebuild this system is very difficult because of the existing seawall under the sidewalk. 

“The city began a project to replace the street lights in this corridor and it was discovered that the wood canopy over the sidewalk and these poles supporting the signal were in very poor condition.  We then moved this signal system up the priority list to address this need.” The new street lights are mounted atop the signal poles.

In a past Road Warrior column, Don said that traffic detection at the Bay Street-Sidney Avenue intersection, where the new signal is located, will be restored when it is operational. The old lights have been on timers since the repaving of Bay Street last summer.