Tag Archives: Purdy

Gorst has only traffic camera between Purdy and Poulsbo

The in basket: Glenn Shock of Lakeland Village in Allyn asks in an e-mail, “Are there any (state) road cameras in Kitsap County? We live at the highest point in Lakeland Village and get more snow, more often than most other areas.

“We have commitments in Bremerton and Silverdale and always wonder what the road conditions are between here and there.

“Are there cameras on highways 16 and 3 in Kitsap County?”

The out basket: Just one that will be of help checking on the route to Bremerton and Silverdale. It’s in Gorst at Sam Christopherson Road and Highway 3. It was installed during replacement of the east half of the Hood Canal Bridge when traffic was detoured through Gorst up the west side of Hood Canal.

Several others are on Highway 16 from Purdy south, installed during construction of the second Tacoma Narrows Bridge in connection with ramp metering stop lights and on Highway 3 north of Poulsbo, installed to help drivers anticipate closures of the Hood Canal Bridge to vehicle traffic.

Kelly Stowe of the state Department f Transportation says those from Purdy south are viewable at www.wsdot.com/traffic/tacoma/default.aspx. Those from Poulsbo north and the one in Gorst can be seen at www.wsdot.com/traffic/hoodcanal/default.aspx?cam=9191. It has one  between Brinnon and Quilcene on the west side of the canal, too.

 

Turning overpasses into interchanges

The in basket: I talked with long-time South Kitsapers Agnes Stornelli and Bernice Ohman at the 95th birthday party of one of their contemporaries, Alice Carlson Larson, recently and they asked me what the chances are that an interchange might be developed at what those of us who have lived here as long as we have call Nelson’s Corner.

It’s midway between the Sedgwick and Mullenix interchanges and already has an overpass, so would just need ramps.

They argue that traffic, especially large trucks, could use such an interchange to reach points along roads like Lider and Bielmeier would no longer have to congest Sedgwick Road  with its long slow climb up from the freeway.

I choose to couch their question in comparison to two other local places with ramp-less over- or underpasses that could benefit from ramps – 144th Street in Purdy and Anderson Hill Road on Highway 3 in Silverdale.

An Anderson Hill Road interchange came up again at the recent public meeting about the planned roundabout at Newberry Hill Road and Chico Way, as it always seems to in long-range Silverdale traffic planning meetings.

The out basket: Prospects for any of the three freeway crossings getting on- or off-ramps in the near future are slim, but the Purdy location stands the best chance.

Ron Landon of the state Transportation Department, says, “I believe putting an interchange at (Highway) 16 in Purdy at144th is an alternative being looked at as part of the (Highway) 302 Alignment/Corridor Study. But we’re a long way from breaking ground on that one. No firm decisions about the corridor study have been made and there is no funding available for design or construction.

“I … doubt there’d be much support for another interchange is this area after we just built Burley-Olalla,” he said, adding that available money is more likely to go toward eliminating at-grade intersections like Burley-Olalla used to be.

“Ramps are added to over-crossings,” he said. “It’s not very common, but it has been done.”

Roundabout in Purdy is a possibility

The in basket: Someone (I can no longer find the inquiry) asked me if there was anything new in efforts to ease the rush-hour backups at the Purdy traffic signal for traffic trying to get to Key Peninsula after pulling off northbound Highway 16.

The lines of vehicles, which have caused the state to allow shoulder driving on Highway 16 to get exiting cars out of the through lanes at the Purdy exit, remain long, the inquiry said.

The out basket: It turns out there has been a lot of progress, though the most immediate change will address morning backups in the other direction. But there may be a roundabout in place of that over-worked Purdy stop light within three years.

Karen Boone, assistant project engineer in the Olympic Region design shop, said the most recent gas tax increase of 9 1/2 cents per gallon has provided $6.65 million for work in or near Purdy, to be done in two phases.

A lot of it in both phases will be devoted to Highway 302’s intersection with 118th Avenue well west of Purdy. Turn lanes and guard rail to improve safety are planned there.

But by Christmas this year, a new signal controller and optical traffic detector in Purdy will turn the left-turn light green for traffic coming east over the Purdy Bridge whenever the backup to turn left (about 10 cars) blocks those who want to turn right from getting to the turn. More reflective signs also wlll be installed.

In 2012, a contract is scheduled to be let for work to include other improvements in Purdy, Karen said. One option being studied is building a roundabout there.

She said preliminary traffic studies say a roundabout would be a partial fix for the long afternoon lines, not a complete one. “It won’t be the silver bullet,” she said.

One complication that often works against roundabouts – the need to buy a lot of right of way – is not a problem in Purdy, she said. The state owns enough land there to build a roundabout, though some of it is leased to businesses at present.

Another complication, for all projects – money – could be decisive. The $6.65 million might not stretch to cover a roundabout.

If the state decides against the roundabout, the only other option identified so far doesn’t sound like a major help. That would be putting in a second northbound lane at the stop light to let traffic wanting to go straight rather than turn left onto 302 get out of the left-turn queue. Karen couldn’t say what percentage of the traffic goes straight, but suspects it’s a minority.

Karen said such a second lane couldn’t be too long, or it would run into some fish barriers uphill. If they disturbed them, they’d have to bring them up to code, which could consume all of the available money and then some, she said.

Another traffic obstacle in Purdy, the narrow bridge, is on the state’s list for replacement, she said, but that would be a long time in the future.

New Highway 16 interchange due Oct. 7 opening

 

The in basket: Paul  Morton, who lives on Bandix Road east of the Burley-Olalla Road intersection project on Highway 16 wonders when it will be done and he can get on and off the freeway there again.

I’d been wondering the same thing, since the work has dropped out of sight behind the safety barriers since the contractor and state announced they were way ahead of schedule, opened the lanes over the new bridges and returned the speed limit to 60 mph. I couldn’t tell if perhaps something had gone wrong and the work had slowed or stopped.

And a blogger on the Road Warrior blog at kitsapsun.com asks if the bump as one crosses onto the freeway bridge heading toward Tacoma will be eliminated.

The out basket: Project Engineer Brenden Clarke of the state highway department says work has continued at its stepped-up pace. “In fact, Ceccanti (the contractor) has been working long shifts, including Saturdays, to complete the work to reconfigure the on- and off-ramps to their final profile,” he said.

Those ramps were used for the freeway traffic while the new bridges were built. Since the speed limit went back up, large portions of the ramps “were re-graded along with Burley-Olalla Road to (give) Burley-Olalla a smooth profile and have the ramps come to an angle point as they will come to a stop,” he said. “The slopes off of the ramps were re-graded after removing about six feet of pavement that was used for the detour.” 

“In addition,” Brenden said, “the contractor had a short window to 

complete stream re-alignments into the structures that were 

constructed as a part of this project to remove two ‘fish barrier’ 

culverts.  This work had to be done during August.”

By using the ramps to keep the freeway traffic flowing, albeit at 40 mph, they cut nine months and about a million dollars off the cost of the work, he said.

They have scheduled an opening ceremony for Oct. 7 at 10 a.m. and “hope to be able to open the new interchange after the ceremony,” he said. The final paving of the southbound through lanes is scheduled for tonight and Friday, Sept. 17-18, and will remove the bump at the bridge.

Paul works in Bremerton, and has been using the Mullenix intersection or going into Purdy and doubling back during the closure. Even happier about the reopening of access to Burley-Olalla Road at the freeway, I would imagine, will be all those people who live near the intersection and come and go each day from Gig Harbor or Tacoma. They have been forced down into Purdy where the overworked Highway 302 traffic signal was backing up Key Peninsula traffic even before the Burley-Olalla vehicles got added to the mix.