Tag Archives: detour

Detour signs prepare for weeklong Highway 302 closure

The in basket: On a roundtrip to Shelton’s Oyster Fest last weekend I passed a series of road signs on Highway 3 between Gorst and Allyn.

The signs were orange but covered with black plastic. The plastic on two or three didn’t cover the entire sign and I could see the top word was “Detour.” The locations didn’t coincide with the recent paving of parts of Highway 3 or the ongoing work in Belfair.

I asked what’s being planned.

The out basket: Claudia Bingham Baker replied that work will begin this weekend on a culvert project that will close Highway 302, which runs between Purdy and Allyn. She referred me to a news release I hadn’t seen before.

“Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will close a section of State Route 302 in October to replace two failed culverts and reinforce the roadway,” it said.

“A 170-foot section of SR 302 is slowly settling due to erosion, and damaging the roadway. Replacing the culverts will help prevent stormwater runoff from damaging roadway material, which makes up the base the highway.

“Crews will also install specialized lightweight concrete to help shore up the roadway.

“These repairs tackle two problems at once, and will keep the road smooth longer while reducing the costs we’re seeing from having to repave several times a year,” said Project Engineer Michele Britton.

Both directions of  302 will be closed at milepost 4.5 near Victor starting at 6 a.m., Saturday, it said. All lanes will reopen by 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct 15.

Local access will be allowed to, but not through, the work zone.

Signed detour routes will be in place allowing drivers to bypass the closure by using signed State Route 3 and State Route 16, it said.

This work is weather dependent, it said, noting that that stretch of  302 carries approximately 3,000 vehicles per day.

Rights onto Tremont during detour analyzed

The in basket: It was irritating during the closure of Highway 166 for the Gorst culvert replacements to pull up to the red light on Port Orchard Boulevard, the designated detour, at Tremont Street and watch timid drivers wait to turn right onto Tremont’s inside lane  despite the presence of a perfectly good outside lane that would hold a few of them and allow those farther back in the line on the boulevard to pull forward.

Often the traffic was so heavy that even when the light turned red on Tremont and green on the boulevard, the backup from the next light ahead on Tremont, at Pottery, left no room for boulevard traffic to get into the through lane on Tremont. Once again, the outside lane, which can hold four or five vehicles and from which cars can merge into the inside lane when Tremont traffic began moving again, went largely unused.

I asked Port Orchard police whether there is anything illegal about using that outside lane, which ends a couple of hundred feet from the boulevard, as a merge or acceleration lane.

While I was at it, I asked if there is anything illegal about using deceleration lanes, such as those in front of Fred Myer on Sedgwick Road, to accelerate into eastbound Sedgwick traffic. There are right turn arrows on the pavement, but they don’t say “only.”

The out basket: Commander Dale Schuster of PO police says that not only is use of the outside lane on Tremont legal, as a matter of law, it’s required.

“Yes, the detour route via Port Orchard Boulevard was a mess during the culvert construction,” he said. “Thank God that part is over.

“Technically, when you turn right onto westbound Tremont Street from Port Orchard Boulevard you need to enter as far right towards the curb as possible which would obviously mean the closest lane. (RCW 46.61.290). In this case, it would be the acceleration lane you are referring to.

“You would then signal left and merge into the main lane of travel. Of course, you are relying on the courtesy of other drivers to let you in during heavy traffic. So, in short, it is perfectly legal to turn right in the acceleration lane then merge into traffic, or wait in the lane for an opening.

“Regarding your question on Sedgwick Road at Fred Meyer…I see no reason why someone exiting the Fred Meyer lot could not use that lane as an acceleration lane to merge into eastbound Sedgwick Road. Since there is no “island” there, the motorist would need to make sure he/she yields the right of way to someone in the deceleration lane already eastbound on Sedgwick Road. I am willing to bet most motorists exiting Fred Meyer are already using it as an acceleration lane.”

Forced Sixth Street right turn being ignored

The in basket: Three readers say the recent change to require vehicles in the right lane of southbound Warren Avenue in Bremerton to turn right onto Sixth Street is being widely ignored by drivers used to that being a through lane.

Suzi Hubert wrote, “I have moved to the left-hand lane as instructed and find that those folks in the right lane go straight ahead to Burwell and I have a heck of a time getting over to make my right-hand turn on Burwell.

“It is most annoying and I am afraid that one of these days I’ll end up going to the ferry instead. Help!!”

Phil Kight asked “Is the city planning on leaving it as a right-turn-only lane, or will it revert back to its formal state when 11th Street is completed? It seems that just about everyone that I’ve seen using that lane ignores the right-turn-only (restriction).”

And an e-mailer going by BJ, wrote, “Why did they make the outside lane on Warren Avenue a right-turn-only at Sixth Street as part of the 11th Street detour? Knowing that we are going to turn right on Burwell, we (used to) travel in the outside lane once we get on Wheaton Way. Now we have to move into the center lane just before Sixth Street and cross our fingers we can get back into the outside lane in the short distance between Sixth and Burwell.

“VERY few people are paying attention to the Right-Turn- Only signs and markings on the road!  Why not leave it like it was with just a detour sign for those that don’t know the area?”

The out basket: When I drove there Thursday morning, a succession of seven cars made the right turn while the light was red. When it turned green, the driver of a large black pickup did indeed proceed straight and caused me some difficulty in getting over into the right lane at Burwell.

I’m not sure how that’s any worse than it was before the city began requiring right turns from that lane. There always were two lanes of traffic mostly wanting to go west on Burwell and competing for the right lane after Sixth. What’s changed, I suspect, is drivers who used to avoid that in the past by using the right lane exclusively no longer can, legally.

Gunnar Fredriksson of the city of Bremerton traffic engineer says, “Yes, the right-lane-must-turn-right restriction is with the project (a three-month closure of 11th Street for sewer work) and not permanent.  This was done to maximize the number of vehicles turning from Warren onto Sixth Street for the detour route.

“We are watching the situation, and for a majority of time, it seems to work quite well. I understand the frustration with those ignoring the signage and going through the intersection.  We are hoping this is part of the learning curve for motorists and will diminish with time.”

The same restriction has been imposed on Sixth Street’s westbound right lane at Warren, also is temporary for the duration of the sewer work on 11th and also is routinely violated. There’s less reason to change lanes beyond Warren on Sixth, and it hasn’t generated any complaints to me.


Stop signs a problem for revised Manette traffic flow, says reader

The in basket: Robin Henderson, a Manette resident, suggests some modifications to traffic flow in Manette to allow traffic to get through faster once the new Manette Bridge is finished and a roundabout is built on that end in place of the existing intersection.

“A lot of traffic across the bridge heads east up 11th to either Trenton or Perry,” he said. “Many folks headed to Brownsville or even Keyport use this route to avoid traffic.

With Shore Drive closed, “folks will  have to go up Harkins to Pitt then down Pitt to 11th with two stop signs to negotiate.  I suggested removing those two stop signs so that traffic can continue to flow uninterrupted to Trenton,” he said.

Shore Drive, which already is blocked, will remain closed to traffic coming off bridge because it is too steep to be served by the roundabout, eliminating the route taken previously by most traffic wanting to head out East 11th.

The existing stop signs would be repositioned to stop traffic on southbound Pitt and eastbound East 11th under his plan.

“I have already shared my ideas with (City Councilman) Adam Brockus, and I sent a link to this article to Jeff Cook, the states project engineer.  I was just wondering if you had any thoughts on the issue?  Do you ever drive through Manette?””

The out basket: I used to take this route weekly to reach a pickleball game in Illahee, until I decided it was just as fast and involved a lot less stopping and starting to go up around Dyes Inlet via Silverdale and double back.

Jeff Cook tells me he met Sept. 29 with Bremerton street officials and said they agreed to give Robin’s idea consideration. Having traffic proceeding through 90-degree turns without stopping raises some safety issues, and that could lead to thoughts of widening the turn radii, which might lead to right of way issues.

It’s one of two things bridge planners are being urged to change from current plans, he said. The other involves the designated detour through Manette to link East 11th and and Wheaton Way during next year’s four month closure of the existing bridge to complete the new one and the roundabout.

They are weighing objections to the designated detour, via Pitt and 14th Street, which some residents oppose, against an alternative, using Perry Avenue and 18th Street, which some Manette businesses fear will cost them most of their customers, he said.

In each case, “we want the most amount of people to be happy with what we do,” Jeff said.

Painting party detour no different than others

The in basket: Alexis McKinnon e-mailed Aug. 4 to say, “Last weekend in Port Orchard, Highway 166 through downtown was closed. (Traffic) was then re-routed up Kitsap Street, left on Rockwell, then back onto Bay Street (heading in an easterly direction).  

“I live on Kitsap and I do not remember a time when Highway 166 was re-routed onto this street.  I understood if (it) was to be re-routed it would be up Kitsap Street, then south on Sidney to Lund. 
“I was very surprised by the amount of traffic on our normally quiet street,” she said, “with no patrols to ensure cars followed the speed limit or stopped at the stop signs. 

“The truck route was directed up Port Orchard Boulevard and onto Lund, which is a perfect re-route, considering there’s only one home on the entire road, and it’s a three-lane road (two uphill, one downhill). 
The out basket: Mark Dorsey, public works director for the city, says nothing different was done in rerouting traffic for the Aug. 1-2 painting party than is done for the Cruz car show, the Fathoms O’ Fun Parade, Festival of Chimes and Lights and other events that occupy Port Orchard’s main street. “Car traffic is detoured up Kitsap to Rockwell……and the truck traffic detoured up Port Orchard Boulevard to Tremont,” he said.

Alexis might want to approach the city council if she’s like to see that changed .