The in basket: Jim Civilla and Julie Jones have asked about the deteriorating appearance of plantings along Highway 304 in Bremerton.
Jim wrote, “A couple of years ago the Navy Yard Highway was
completely changed. Businesses uprooted, roads changed…in an
effort to make the gateway into Bremerton more appealing.
“But, from the Highway 3 interchange all the way to the shipyard is anything but beautiful. The weeds have taken over on both sides of the road as well as the middle barrier.
“Who is responsible now for maintaining???” he asked. “And why isn’t it being done?”
Julie focused on another part of that highway, including the curb protrusions at Burwell Street intersections.
“They keep the downtown area near the ferry terminal looking
fantastic,” she wrote. “I love it down there. But I am wondering
what their plans are concerning other very visible, and what I
would consider important, parts of town - roads that visitors
take to get into town.
“Specifically I am asking if they have any plans for maintenance along Burwell, especially those bump-outs, and the median along the shipyard. Those areas are an embarrassing disgrace. The median is so overgrown and full of weeds, and I spotted a very healthy blackberry bush in one of the bump-outs near State Street. on Burwell.
“Did the city not realize those plants would grow? Or that weeds might invade those areas? Maybe they should have invested in silk plants!
“If they can’t maintain the bump-outs, they ought to pull out all the vegetation and fill them in with concrete. At least an unsuspecting passerby won’t get snagged by a thorny blackberry vine.
“And as for the median in front of the shipyard, the one that looked so great when they put it in a few years ago…please tell me they have a plan to get out there and clean up that mess.”
The out basket: I saw a city crew cleaning up a short stretch of the weeds near Kitsap Transit a few weeks ago, but the overgrowth is the dominating feature of that landscaping.
Gunnar Fridriksson of the city street engineers says, “This is a little frustrating for me personally, as well, having been involved with the design and construction of the corridor, watching it be reduced to weeds, overgrown shrubs and litter.
“The city is responsible for maintenance of the landscaping along Highway 304 from the ferry terminal to the interchange with Highway 3.
“The landscaping installed with the various 304 projects was based on citizen input from public outreach meetings during the design phase at a time when the city was more able to handle this maintenance. The city has seen significant budget/staff reductions over the last few years from the park and street departments and this work is low priority (compared) to park maintenance and street repairs.
“There have recently been a few volunteer groups who have contacted the city and expressed an interest in helping maintain these areas, and we are coordinating with them. If there are additional readers, or a business, who would like to help in this effort, we can provide information on the groups so that they could join in.”
The engineers’ phone number is (360) 473-5270.