Tag Archives: railing

New railing on Warren Avenue Bridge is panned

The in basket: Four readers have commented on an earlier column on the Road Warrior blog at kitsapsun.com, about the raising of the railings on the Warren Avenue Bridge in Bremerton. All said the work, being done at night, is a waste of money.

Gary Reed was the first, saying, “It appears the upgrade to the bridge is to install new barriers that are 4 inches taller than the old. Seems a colossal waste of money when the budget is supposedly so tight. The money could have been spent to repair the bridge deck. It’s projects like this that make me believe the wailing for more taxes is unfounded, and the state has a surplus,” he said.

You can see the other three similar comments on the blog.

The out basket: It might not change their minds, but the commenters probably are reacting to what they can see so far, rather than the finished project.

Jeff Cook, the project engineer, says crews so far have only replaced some of the concrete barriers separating pedestrian and vehicle traffic with others that are actually only three inches taller, not four. That railing now is a patchwork of old and new concrete.

Yet to come, Jeff said, are metal railings atop the new concrete, and extensions to be bolted to the outside railings, raising them. When it’s complete, both barriers on each side of the bridge will be four-feet-six-inches tall.

I asked him for the rationale behind this and other similar bridge jobs around the nation, and he said, ” The drive behind the project comes down to simply this: safety.  Safety for errant vehicles, safety for pedestrians and bicyclists using the sidewalk.”

The actual price tag is $1,169,746.97. Federal money provides 98 percent of it, Jeff said.

As for the condition of the bridge deck, you can see what state officials have to say about that in a Road Warrior column on the blog dated June 23 of this year.

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.