Tag Archives: Chico Way

Chico Way repaving called unnecessary

The in basket: Dan Talbot of Bremerton thinks the recent repaving of Chico Way was unnecessary.

“(It) was in great shape,” he said. “Why is it now being resurfaced when there are so many other roads in the area that are a mess? What are the priorities in determining which roads need resurfacing?”

The out basket: Jacques Dean, road superintendent for Kitsap County replies, “In actuality, Chico Way was not in great condition.  There were significant areas of degradation (primarily alligator and longitudinal cracking) throughout the length of Chico Way that we were forced to repair in 2014.

“At around the same time we were completing pavement repairs, Federal Highways issued a call for preservation projects. They offered funding for projects on federally functional classified roadways…in other words, arterial and collector roadways…and in urban areas only.”


Chico Way paving finished early

The in basket: Sam Watland commented on the recent column in which a reader criticized the chip seal paving being done on Gold Creek Road and wrote, “Seems like the same story we heard from the county about the poor patching on Chico Way two years ago. “The promised chip sealing never happened and now our tax dollars are being spent once again to grind up all the poorly done patchwork by the county to be repaved by a contractor.

“When is the county going to be held accountable for wasting our tax dollars?”

The out basket: That wasn’t my recollection of the planned Chico Way work, and I asked if Sam’s recollection was correct?

“No,” says Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works. “Chico Way was not scheduled for a chip seal. The previous work he saw there was preservation work to repair failing areas on the road.

“The most recent work was not repairing poorly done work, rather it was the pre-leveling required that precedes all paving projects.

The paving was scheduled for completion Aug. 5, but was finished about two weeks earlier than that.

Promised Chico Way repaving yet to happen

The in basket: Ian MacKenzie writes to followup on a Road Warrior column from last October regarding Chico Way in Central Kitsap.

“At that time, Sam Watland commented on the recent substandard patching of Chico Way that had just occurred,” Ian noted. “Doug Bear at Kitsap County Public Works indicated it was only prep work for a scheduled asphalt overlay of Chico Way that was to occur in late spring or early summer of 2015.

“Well, we are about at the end of summer 2015 and there is no indication that this new asphalt overlay is going to take place. In fact, they even re-striped the existing roadway that is still riddled with all the bad patching that took place last fall. What happened to the plans?”

I asked about it, noting the electronic signs on Lund Avenue in South Kitsap, which also got dig-outs (also called full-depth patching) last year, that say Lund will be repaved beginning Aug. 31. I asked if both are examples of a prep-now, pave-later approach.

The out basket: The Chico Way plans have changed, said county Road Superintendent Jacques Dean, and the paving there now is scheduled for 2016.

“It is common practice for us to maintain our roadways in this fashion,” he said. “Prior to a scheduled resurfacing of either asphalt overlay or chip seal, deteriorated areas are repaired, by either one or a combination of full depth patching, pre-leveling, crack sealing, fog sealing, etc.

“If we fail to complete this preparation work prior to resurfacing, the underlying deficiencies will soon reflect back up through the new road surface, defeating the purpose of the maintenance work.

“Most typically, resurfacing work is completed immediately following the preparation work during the same year.  Sometimes the preparation work is completed a year or more in advance.  This is usually dictated be weather, work windows and/or availability of equipment and crew.

“Both Lund Avenue and Chico Way were littered with areas of significant alligator cracking and potholing.  These deficiencies needed immediate attention to preclude further, and expanding deterioration.

“On Lund Avenue, it was our intent to complete an asphalt overlay immediately following the preparation work. We were not able to accomplish this work due to the onset of inclement weather, and as such, the overlay was rescheduled for this year.

“The preparation work on Chico Way was completed in advance of a planned overlay that will be completed by a contractor through a grant-funded County Road Project (CRP) in 2016.  This project was originally scheduled for 2015, but was rescheduled for 2016 due to a robust CRP schedule in 2015.”

Chico Way patching is prep work for 2015 overlay

The in basket: Sam Watland read the recent column about plans for restoring Silverdale streets when the current water main replacement is finished and said, “Streets restored to ‘county standards’ isn’t saying much. The patching of Chico Way has recently been done by the county road crew and the road is rougher now than before the repair.

“The edges of the patches are not sealed and are already crumbling. Yesterday was a dry and relatively sunny day with no road crew around so they must be finished.

“Whoever the county inspector is needs to update the county standards and get out on the county roads,” he said. “I would be happy to take him/her for a ride in my Toyota pickup if their kidneys are able to take a beating.”

The out basket: The work Sam sees isn’t finished, says Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works, though it’ll be like that for several months.

“The work he describes is pre-level work, the precursor to overlay or chip sealing road work,” said Doug.

“Pre-leveling and full-depth patching is done to resolve deficiencies in the roadway such as severe alligator cracking, potholes and localized settlement, or to restore roadway cross slope to ensure adequate surface water runoff from the traveled way.

“This work is done up to a year prior to the overlay based on equipment and crew availability and the paving schedule. The road surface on Chico Way is scheduled for an asphalt overlay next year late spring or summer.”

This year’s prep work is complete , he said, but they’ll take a look at it to see if some of the patches aren’t sealed, as Sam suggests.

Enormous Chico Way stump just part of stream restoration story

The in basket: The Road Warrior today will step a few feet off the road  (Chico Way, precisely) to ask about an enormous stump that has found its way onto Kitsap County property in Chico.

I saw the behemoth when I took advantage of the Salmon Tour the county offered a few weeks ago. On the Golf Club Road park property, there the stump sat. Some of those touring the site photographed their kids sitting on it.

There was no sign of a big hole from which it tipped. It was well-weathered, indicating it hadn’t been alive for years, if not decades. Moving it there looked like it must have been a gargantuan project.

I asked its history.

The out basket: Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works says the large stump was transported to the site in 2009 by a contractor for public works.

“It was the stump of a large tree that washed out in South Kitsap during the big storm in December 2007,” he said.

“The plan was to store it there for future use in stream restoration and culvert replacement projects.  Since then Kitsap County Public Works has accumulated over 270 trees with root wads and 300 trees without root wads that we store at the former Markwick Property (just north of Silverdale).

“Public Works obtains the trees that are marked for cutting during construction projects, such as the (Central Kitsap) treatment plant expansion or expansion of a storm pond.  The trees are ‘recycled’ and used in restoration projects, including the Sunde Road culvert replacement.

“Their new purpose is to provide habitat for juvenile salmon, cutthroat, provide a natural mechanism to catch stream sediment, and enhance habitat.

“We hope to construct the Dickerson and Clear Creek floodplain projects in 2015-2017, where over 300 trees will be needed for Clear Creek alone.  By storing these ‘byproduct’ trees the county saves a large amount of money and giving these trees a new life.

Has new Silverdale roundabout helped with congestion?

The in basket: When the roundabout Kitsap County built south of Silverdale was being planned, the county said it was a safety project that wouldn’t address congestion. I thought that an odd disclaimer based on my observations of other roundabouts.

Since the project was complete, I’ve been there at rush hour a couple of times and found the traffic to being flowing smoothly, with no more serious backups that I see at the Port Orchard roundabout, which I frequent more often.

Friends who live close by on Chico Way say they have the same impression, that congestion has lessened

I asked the county if their prediction before the project opened was just to keep expectations low or if the roundabout was exceeding their own expectations.

The out basket: Tina Nelson, the county public works senior program manager, says, “During the design phase we were honest with the public about what the project was intended to accomplish, and what it wasn’t going to accomplish, based on studies and data available.

“This was an intersection control/safety project. This project has met our expectations. It is a safer intersection. It is much easier and safer to get to and from Chico Way.

“Those were two of our objectives with the project.  Another was to construct something that we didn’t need to re-construct when we address the capacity of the Silverdale Way corridor in the future.

“As for congestion relief with the new roundabout, we don’t see it.  If there is perception out there that it has relieved congestion, great.  Our impression is the roundabout functions well, and the public has grown accustomed to it.  As the landscaping has established itself, it has become a pleasing and positive gateway as you enter Silverdale.”

What do you readers who frequent the roundabout daily at rush hour think?

Comparing costs of roundabouts and traffic signals

The in basket: Robert Balcomb of Silverdale wasn’t satisfied with the answer he got from the Road Warior column in December about the comparative costs of a roundabout, such is being built south of Silverdale, and a traffic signal there.

“Here I am again,” he wrote on May 21. The public has a right to know what these ‘awful’ (as stated in this morning’s Sun) traffic circles cost compared with traffic lights.

“Let the brains who decided on these monstrosities answer to residents of the affected neighborhoods, especially those living on the north end of Silverdale Way, who (for how many months?) must drive miles south to Eldorado, north on Provost to get to Silverdale.  No more of their weak excuses, tell us the dollars.”

That was missing from the December response, which instead focused on the greater safety and lower future maintenance costs of roundabouts.

So I asked the county for the numbers to build each.

The out basket: Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works says a cost analysis comparing the Silverdale roundabout with signals there says the roundabout would be less expensive in the first place, $1.35 million to $1.4 million.

I don’t know how persuaded Robert and others who dislike roundabouts will be that signals would cost $1.4 million. You can look at that cost analysis at http://www.kitsapgov.com/pw/pdf/SWay_design_rptapp.pdf. and judge for yourself.

Either option includes contingency allowances running into the hundred of thousands of dollars, but those amounts are about the same for both.

Nearly a quarter of the signals’ cost  – $199,500 – would go to constructing a soldier pile wall, nearly as much as the $300,000 for the signal equipment itself.

Doug says “The variables in considering costs are numerous which makes a direct comparison challenging. (Besides the initial construction costs), ongoing maintenance costs are generally higher for a signalized intersection than the cost of maintaining a roundabout.

“Where long-term costs are considered, roundabouts eliminate hardware, maintenance and electrical costs associated with traffic signals, which can cost between $5,000 and $10,000 per year.

“Engineers also consider how the improvement affects the capacity of the intersection, and how the improvement affects traffic flow. Every intersection is unique, and the particular characteristics of each project are considered as the project is developed.

“What is clear in almost every roundabout application is that roundabouts are safer for motorists than signalized intersections. At a four-way intersection there are, at least, 32 possible vehicle-to-vehicle conflicts. At a four-way roundabout there are only eight.

“Roundabouts reduced injury crashes by 75 percent at intersections where stop signs or signals were previously used for traffic control, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Studies by the IIHS and Federal Highway Administration have shown that roundabouts typically achieve:

·        A 37 percent reduction in overall collisions

·        A 75 percent reduction in injury collisions

·        A 90 percent reduction in fatality collisions

·        A 40 percent reduction in pedestrian collisions

The combination of lower speeds through the intersection, no light to beat, and one-direction travel improve safety in the intersection. In addition they also generally reduce delays and improve traffic flow. Roundabouts promote a continuous flow of traffic which allows the intersection to handle more traffic in the same amount of time.”

More information can be seen at www.kitsapgov.com/pw/pdf/silvway_Roundabout_V_Signal.pdf

County seems to duplicate effort in Chico Way paving

The in basket: Bob Simonoff, owner of West Shores Interiors on Chico Way writes, “In the past six weeks or so, the county is digging up asphalt on Chico Way NW and replacing it with new strips of asphalt. Today they came back and dug up portions of the road that they had filled a few weeks ago.

“I was just wondering why they are redoing some portions? And what are the costs to taxpayers, for them to re-dig and refill large portions of the street? (not to mention the disruption to our business).”

The out basket: Callene Abernathy of Kitsap County Public Works says the explanation is the same as for what also looked like duplication on Central Valley Road at just about this time last year, subject of a Road Warrior column at the time..

Here is the explanation provided by County Road Superintendent Don Schulz provided then:

““Full depth patching on this section of road was … in response to distressed areas subject to heavy truck and bus traffic.

“…The existing paved shoulders were still in very good condition, and did not need an overlay,” he said. “This allowed us to consider a partial overlay that can result in significant cost savings.

“If you do not overlay the full width of a road surface you must establish a vertical butt joint at the edge of the paving limits. The process of creating that butt joint could lead a passing motorist to conclude we were grinding out the patches we just placed.

“A butt joint is established by grinding a depth of 1½ inches at the outer edge of the travel way to level near the center line of the road. This butt joint did overlap some areas previously patched. We could have left the patches below grade in the interim period between patching and the overlay, but that would have created some safety concerns.

“Using this approach to limit the overlay to the actual travel lanes and creating a butt joint to support that resulted in saving … asphalt, reducing the overlay cost by $40,000 in material alone. The associated labor costs are also lowered by limiting the overlay to the traffic lanes.” (Don figured the savings on Chico Way to be $35,000).

“Some of the fresh patch material was removed, but considering the safety concerns a 1½-inch drop-off would cause in the interim, and the savings created by this approach, I felt the tradeoff was acceptable,” he said.

“It’s also important for readers to know that the asphalt we did remove from the patch is ground up and reused as fill material for shoulder work,” Don said.

Silverdale roundabout project worries Realtor

The in basket: Real estate agent Karen Ebersole saw the schematic for the upcoming Silverdale/Chico/Newberry roundabout in Silverdale in a recent Road Warrior column and said she had been meaning to ask “what their plans are for routing traffic during the seven-month construction project. The only other way into Silverdale is the northern route at the mall exit,” she said. “I can see this as being a real nightmare for everyone, especially those living along Chico Way.

“As a real estate professional, this traffic construction/routing will also significantly impact the way I conduct business.”

The out basket: Tina Nelson, senior program manager in Kitsap County Public Works, says, “It’s planned that the road will remain open during construction, though some closure of access to and from Chico Way will be permitted.

“There is a proposed phasing plan in the contract. How traffic is routed is ultimately determined by the contractor. A public meeting is planned prior to the start of construction. Information regarding that meeting will be published when it is available.

“Representatives from the county and the contractor will be on hand to detail what to expect during construction, and answer questions from area residents,” she said. “Details about the project are available online http://www.kitsapgov.com/pw/crp_3645.htm, the project website.

School buses and the five-car-delay rule


The in basket: I came across a year-old inquiry from Ward Starring of Chico Way recently on the subject of school buses and whether they have to comply with the state law requiring vehicles delaying more than five others on a two-lane highway to pull over and let them pass.

He had been stuck behind Central Kitsap school bus No. 66 on Chico Way on April 30 last year, he wrote at the time, and he could see in his rear-view mirror that he was among at least two dozen drivers crawling behind the bus as it stopped and boarded children.

“That bus never once pulled to the shoulder to let traffic pass,” he said. It traveled all the way to the Newberry/Chico Way intersection, where it waited to turn. 

Previously, he’d often seen buses there pull over to let traffic go past, he said.

“Whether that was just a polite move or required by law, it reduced frustration from drivers who then had to contend with the almost impossible task of merging into traffic at the Newberry Hill/ Chico Way intersection,” he said.

The out basket: School buses are not exempted from that law, which reads “On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of traffic in the opposite direction or other conditions, a slow moving vehicle, behind which five or more vehicles are formed in a line, shall turn off the roadway wherever sufficient area for a safe turn-out exists, in order to permit the vehicles following to proceed.”

It defines a slow vehicle as “one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place.” Doing the speed limit isn’t a defense.

It’s a hard law to enforce, though the State Patrol lately has kicked off the vacation season with news releases reminding motorists, presumably motor home drivers mostly, of the law. There also is a discussion of it as regards traffic on newly busy, two-lane Highway 101 on Josh Farley’s Kitsap Crime and Justice blog on this Web site and printed in Tuesday’s Kitsap Sun.

Trooper Krista Hedstrom of the local State Patrol office says, “Although school buses are required by law to pull off and let traffic by, they also need to do so safely, especially considering they are transporting children. Drivers are reminded to please be patient when behind a school bus.  They may not always have a safe location to pull over.”  

The pull-off place must not only be safe, it has to be wide enough for the bus (or motor home or whatever) to get all its wheels outside the edge line. Parking with wheels over the edge line is an infraction, as is traveling slowly partly or fully on the shoulder.

There seem to be lots of places along Chico Way wide enough for a bus to pull over. This long after the fact, it may not be possible to determine who was driving the bus that day, but David Beil of CK schools’ community affairs office said he’ll pass the complaint on to the district’s transportation department.