Tag Archives: Harper

Bright lights in SK visible and annoying on Bainbridge

The in basket: A reader whose identity in an e-mail says simply “dirtina100” says, “We live at the south end of Bainbridge.  Can you find out what those REALLY bright lights are that are on every night at the Harper dock (in South Kitsap)?

“We apparently have to put up with cargo ships with bright lights and noise but what are those lights about down there?”

The out basket: Doris Small, project manager for the estuary restoration in Harper says, “The lights could be associated with Harper Dock, where squid fishing is taking place nightly.  However this is not new, so may not be what they are seeing.

“The Harper Estuary Restoration Project construction is underway and some of the work is occurring at night to coincide with the low tides.  The construction work will continue through January, although night work will be limited as much as possible.

“We’ve contacted neighbors in the area and shielded lights from the immediate area.  I didn’t realize that neighbors on Bainbridge could see the work.  I’d ask that the Bainbridge neighbors contact Corey Morss, WDFW project engineer, at 360.902.2465 for further discussion of what they are observing.

Additional information about the project is available at http://westsoundwatersheds.org/default.aspx?ID=22

Probably the lights are those on excavating equipment a little bit south of the Harper Dock, where the state is having obstructions to the Harper estuary removed.

Doris Small with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife says some of the work is done at night if that’s when the tides are lowest. “It’s a lot easier to work and some of the area has to be exposed,” she said. They are removing man-made fill and putting in habitat features.

The night work could continue into January, she said.

Guardrail changes in Harper raise eyebrows

The in basket: “Goolsby Snitworthy, who drives along Southworth Drive daily” (really, that’s what he wants to be called), writes, “Perhaps you could have your county road contacts explain to the folks why, as part of the reconstruction of Southworth Drive between the Harper Dock and Olympiad Drive, guard rails have been added along sections where they were not before and removed from other sections where they were before.

“It appears illogical to we non-road experts, but I suppose the county experts have what they think is a logical explanation for the guard rail changes.  I am certain others are puzzled by this development,” he said.

The out basket: I, too, was surprised that most of the project’s frontage, up against which the tide laps at high tide, has no guard rail, including in places that used to have it.

And, yes, the county does have an explanation.

Jeff Shea, county traffic engineer, says not all the planned guardrail has been installed yet but not every place that had it before will have it replaced.

Cones along the waterside shoulder from the Harper Dock south to Cambridge Road show where guardrail has yet to be installed, 270 feet of it. They’ve decided the need to bolt that guardrail to the seawall requires a special design being done now. That will add about $40,000 to the work, says Senior Program Manager Tina Nelson in public works..

“Guardrail itself is a hazard to motorists, especially motorcycles and bicycles,” Jeff said. “Guardrail is generally placed because it presents less hazard than the obstacle behind it,” in this case, water.

“Past guardrail locations do not necessarily dictate replacing a guardrail, if it is removed,” he said. The only other stretch of guardrail in the completed project, nearer Olympiad Drive, is required by the combination of the height of the rock wall behind it and the potential depth of water there, said Tina Nelson.

“We’ve researched our records and, other than vehicles that have hit the guardrail at the curve at the dock, there are no reported collisions with the guardrail previously placed there,” Jeff said.

“Environmental regulations and restrictions limit what can be done at that location. We are evaluating other methods, including barrier curbs and/or signs and markings, that can help delineate the road edge.”

One such change was approved by the county commissioners on Nov. 8. A suggestion of Commissioner Charolotte Garrido, it provides $52,352 to paint the shoulders brownish red when weather allows in the spring, says Tina. There is anecdotal evidence the visual impact of painted shoulders can slow traffic, she said. Neighbors who fought the widening often said they think it will increase speeds there.

Tina says even with the added cost of the painted shoulders, special guardrail design and reinforcement of the sea wall, the project will come in around $800,000, about $200,000 less than originally expected.

Harper road work still planned


The in basket: Jane Myers  of Olympiad Drive in South Kitsap, one of the Harper area residents in favor of the Kitsap County’s planned alteration of Southworth Drive through Harper, asked in July whatever became of the project. I had lost track of the proposal and wondered myself if the impending departure from office of County Commissioner Jan Angel, a key proponent of the work in the face of opposition among the property owners to be affected, might be the end of it.

The out basket: Since Jane asked, there have been news stories bringing us up to date and revealing that the project is still planned, regardless of Jan Angel’s decision to run for the Legislature instead of reelection. 

The state Shorelines Hearings Board in late August rejected an appeal by the project’s opponents, which was based in part on the changed slope of the road and loss of landside ditches, which they feel will increase contaminated roadway runoff into the bay or onto the beach. 

They have asked the hearings board to reconsider, the kind of  reversal I’ve never seen happen after an initial ruling, in court or otherwise. A final decision is due this month. After that, the opponents can go to court to try to stop it, and opposition leader Rebecca McCoy says she will, if it comes to that. 

The project has been on the county’s road improvement list for a couple of years, and now is expected to show up on the 2009 project list, due in December. Continued appeals could delay it further.

The work would add four-foot shoulders for bicycles and pedestrians to the road from the Harper Dock to Olympiad and a foot in width to the travel lanes. It’s estimated to cost $910,000.