Tag Archives: Chico

Chico Way left turns strike driver as dangerous

The in basket: Mike Spieker says his drive to work takes him southbound on Chico Way to turn left on Erlands Point.

“The left turn lane is marked with a double yellow line,” he said. ” On several occasions vehicles in front of me have unexpectedly stopped short of the turn and made

a left turn into the gas station on the east side of the road.

“The gas station entrance has a traffic control island that seems to be an attempt to limit such a turn,” he said, “with ingress access apparently intended only for northbound Chico Way traffic on one side and an “exit only” side  (marked with a sign) to allow egress for northbound traffic on the other side.”

“Can you comment on accident activity at the site and whether the left turn into the gas station is legal?  Is there anything that might be modified to address what appears to be a perfect recipe for a rear-end collision?”

The out basket: There are no signs visible to drivers on Chico Way forbidding a left turn and no cross-hatching on the pavement on Chico Way to make left turns illegal.

The northernmost of the two accesses is quite wide and has room for two-way traffic.

The other one is narrower and built so that a left turn is difficult but not impossible. The left turn pocket for turns onto Erlands Point Road extends back to the narrower access, with a turn arrow on the pavement.

I can find no “exit only” sign on the service station property.

Similar situations probably exist all over the county. One I’ve noticed serves the new Walgreen’s store at Kitsap Way and National Avenue in Bremerton. It’s even worse because that left-turn lane leads to a traffic signal which creates a sense of urgency for drivers trying to get through the light before it turns red. A car on its way to Walgreen’s and waiting in the turn lane for oncoming traffic to clear can surprise a driver looking past the stopped car and concentrating on the signal.

Nevertheless, there is nothing to make a left turn illegal at either spot.

Unless rear-enders actually increase at such spots, they’ll probably remain the way they are.


Updating Chico Way and Manette bridge replacements


The in basket: Michael Drouin asks the status of two bridge projects in Kitsap County, replacement of the washed-out bridge over Chico Creek on Chico Way and the Manette Bridge.

I also got the Chico Way question from a couple people at a  Winter Club dance at Kitsap Golf and Country Club on Feb. 7. Club members and patrons coming from the south have had to go north on Highway 3 or one of a couple county roads and then double back since the bridge washed out. Their return trips home require the same kind of detour.

And Michael Schuyler wonders if the Manette job will adversely affect the Boat Shed Restaurant, just to the south of the bridge.

The out basket: Information on both projects is available on the respective Web sites of Kitsap County, which has the Chico Way project, and the state, owner of the Manette Bridge. The Web sites are www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR303/ManetteBridgeReplacement/ and www.kitsapgov.com/pw/roadwork.htm.

The county’s site says about the Chico Way work, “The collapsed bridge has been removed, all permits have been obtained, and the design is complete.  Bids were opened for construction of the replacement bridge on Feb. 17.  A recommendation to award a contract to Quigg Bros., Inc., from Aberdeen, will be before the county commissioners on March 23. Construction is anticipated to commence the week of March 30 and be complete in early September of this year.”

Probably as a measure of the current economic climate, there were 13 bids on the job and all but one was under the county’s estimate of $1.12 million. Quigg Brothers’ bid is $717,239.   

There is a May 5 open house set for the Norm Dicks Government Center in Bremerton to discuss the Manette Bridge job, set to begin construction next year. “Project staff will be on hand to explain all aspects of the bridge replacement project,” the state’s site says. “Public input will be sought on opportunities for architectural embellishments on the new bridge.

The state’s Web site includes a drawing showing the difference between the aging 29-foot-wide span and its 44-foot-wide replacement, the $83 million price tag on the replacement and a wealth of other information. 

It doesn’t say that the new bridge is expected to be ready for traffic by December 2012, and the old bridge will be torn down in the first half of 2013, information I got from project engineer Bill Elliott.

And even though the new bridge will be built on the Boat Shed’s side of the old one, with just three feet separating the spans while the old one remains standing, the restaurant shouldn’t be affected – not negatively, anyway. 

“While close,” Bill said, “the new bridge can be built without impacting the Boat Shed restaurant. They’ll certainly have a front row seat for watching the construction.”