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Manhole cover called a peril to motorcyclists

The in basket; My motorcycling stepdaughter Ronda Armstrong says there is a “pothole” on Myhre Road in Silverdale just north of its intersection with Ridgetop Boulevard that poses a threat to those, like her, who hit it on a two-wheeler.

It’s just past a rise that hides it from view until one is very close to it, she said.

The out basket: It’s actually one of three manholes grouped together at that spot. The cover may have subsided, leaving a distinct bump. It’s not something I found bothersome crossing it in my 2013 Malibu, but once again I must consider how much different the experience would be on a motorcycle.

I asked the county it it’s something they could change.

The out basket: Doug Bear, spokesman for Kitsap County Public Works, says, “It’s a Puget Sound Energy cover and they have been notified to modify it. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.”

Leaking manhole on Highway 303 defies correction

The in basket: Ray Smith e-mails to say, “This question might be a little out of the ordinary, but maybe you can come up with an answer. On Highway 303 in the southbound lane about halfway between Fairgrounds Road and Echo Drive, there is a manhole cover marked ‘US West Communications’. There is always water seeping up around the cover and the roadway in the area is almost always wet.

“Is this a cover to a utilities tunnel of some type that is always flooded with ground water? Is this normal? Will it cause an icing problem in the current cold weather?

The out basket: It’s not so out of the ordinary that I haven’t been asked about it before, back in 2004.

It must have been leaking during our recent prolonged freeze, as thick ice surrounded it. But it was limited to the shoulder when I drove past and would have created a sharp jolt to anyone who hit it, probably not a skid.

Not knowing what utility might be responsible for it now, I asked the state highway’s Olympic Region.

Claudia Bingham-Baker of their public affairs staff replied, “The roadway at the location your reader referenced sits on ground with a high water table. On occasion, water accumulates in the utility vault and seeps onto the roadway. The utility is aware of the issue, but given the high water table, has not come up with any kind of solution.

“Our maintenance crews keep a close eye on weather forecasts. When colder weather comes, they pay particular attention to known problem areas such as this one and treat the road as conditions require.

Why are manhole covers round?



The in basket: As I told you in the last  Road Warrior, General Manager Larry Curles of the West Sound Utility District (the merged Karcher Creek Sewer District and Annapolis Water District) had a quasi-riddle for me when I called him to ask why sewer and water lines are laid in the street rather than on the shoulder.

He asked if I knew why manholes covers are round?

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