Tag Archives: cliff

Warren Avenue Bridge railings to be raised, and other jobs

The in basket: While I was visiting with State Project Engineer Jeff Cook and his assistant, Andy Larson recently, researching a column on Manette Bridge access, I learned of a couple of state projects I either had no idea were coming, or about which I lacked the most current information.

The out basket: As early as the week of Oct. 4, drivers on the Warren Avenue Bridge in Bremerton at night will find work under way to raise both the inside and outside railings on the bridge.

The railings will be the same height and both will be taller than they are now when the 42-working-day project is complete, they said.

The work will be done at night, to minimize complications from the fact that the Manette Bridge is subject to intermittent closures while its replacement is built.

“The barrier replacement is part of a larger effort to bring traffic barrier up to current standards,” Jeff said.

He also tells me work is progressing on putting nine cameras and three Highway Advisory Radio systems along Highway 3 between Poulsbo and the Hood Canal Bridge. When finished, people at home or with wi-fi in their vehicle will be able to see or hear whether traffic is backed up and how far should the bridge be closed to traffic.

Lastly, Andy and Jeff filled me in on next year’s cliff stabilization work, which they call “rock scaling,” on Highway 3 between Gorst and Bremerton.

Loose rock will be pried out by pry bars or via big air bags that will push the rock out when inflated, they said. They are similar to the air bags that lift collapsed slabs of buildings to rescue trapped people, Jeff said.

Andy said dowels will be inserted into other more stable rock to hold it in place as well as the metal curtain that will be draped over the cliff to  further prevent falling rock from getting into traffic. Similar screen can be seen on cliffs in Snoqualmie Pass and down by Aberdeen.

Sections of the center concrete barrier dividing the highway below the cliffs  will be removed and traffic moved toward the railroad tracks during the work, Andy said.

Cliffs between Bremerton and Gorst to be stabilized

The in basket: Years ago, so long that I have no record of who it was, someone asked about the stability of the rock cliffs overlooking Highway 3 between Gorst and Bremerton. 

I never addressed the issue, but when Kevin Dayton, regional administrator for the Olympic Region of state highways, spoke to the Port Orchard Rotary in December, he told them that work is coming to make sure two spots along those cliffs stay put. 

He told me it’s difficult to see where from the four-lane highway beneath the cliffs, but the two locations can be spotted from across Sinclair Inlet. 

Doubting my ability to tell a questionable rock face from a solid one, I haven’t tried to identify them, but I asked for information about what the work will mean to drivers. 

The out basket: Steve Howell, from the state’s geology engineers, said the two spots are approximately 7/10s of a mile and 1.1 miles from the Highway 304 interchange as one travels toward Gorst. They are each about a tenth of a mile long. 

“These slopes  will be stabilized utilizing slope scaling, rock bolting and the installation of wiremesh/cablenet slope protection,” he said.  “Lane closures will be required for this work but no decision has been made as it relates to day or night work.”  

The slopes are included in the Unstable Slope Mitigation Program because they meet the current criteria of having a numerical rating of 350-plus on a scale that goes up to  891 and rates the impact of a slope failure. 

I guessed that the fact there is virtually no detour whenever that stretch of Highway 3 is blocked played a key role in landing it on the list of slopes in need of work, but Steve said that’s only partially correct. Available detours is just one of 10 risk factors used in rating slopes. 

I also asked if something had just moved those two spots up over 350 on the rating scale, and again he said no, they weren’t evaluated until 2006 or 2007 and placed on the list at all until 2008. 

Kevin Dayton said the work may be bid as early at next July, but the department’s schedule says only that the work is set for the 2011-13 biennium