Tag Archives: railroad

RR tracks keep Provost at Newberry from having flashing left signals.

The in basket: Eric Blair asks, “Do you know what criteria the county have used to decide which intersections will get flashing yellows for the turn lanes?
“Specifically, is there a reason these haven’t been placed at Provost and Newberry Hill? I can understand not putting them on Newberry here, but why can’t they be put on Provost for north/south drivers.

“About once a week I’ll come up in the turn lane on southbound Provost, just after the lights have gone green for straight-through traffic, but remained red for the turn lane. And the way the lights cycle, I have to sit through a whole cycle to get the green turn arrow. A flashing yellow here would be wonderful.”

The out basket: I often get nominations of intersections where yellow flashing left turn signals would eliminate a lot of waiting. Mostly they are on state highways, and the state’s regional traffic office doesn’t like them. Their official stance is that they won’t use them unless there is a significant upgrade at the intersection. But they passed on using them at the recently improved intersection the county upgraded for the state at Ridgetop Boulevard and the southbound Highway 303 off-ramp.

They don’t get much interest in them outside Kitsap County, one technician told me.

The flashing lefts we do see are all at county intersections, installed by the county. Cities here like them, but haven’t found the money for them

Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works didn’t get into the criteria the county uses, but availability of money certainly is one.

At Newberry Hill and Provot roads, there is another reason. “That intersection is too close to the railroad crossing for a left-turn flashing yellow arrow,” Doug said. Too much to watch out for in addition to conflicting vehicles, I guess.

Trains have right of way over Edmonds ferries

The in basket: On one of my rare trips aboard the Kingston-Edmonds ferry this spring, I was signaled by a deckhand to got forward to offload at Edmonds, only to be forced to stop before I got off the boat.

It was clear to see why. A train was crossing from north to south on the tracks that cross in front of the terminal, interrupting the offload.

I thought that with offloading so close to complete, it would make more sense to stop the train to prevent the ferry’s running late.

It took me a beat to realize the whole on-loading process also would have to be finished before stopping the train would do any good.

But I asked the ferry officials if that’s an option when a train shows up when loading the ferry is nearly complete.

The out basket: Marta Coursey of Washington State Ferries said, “(We) routinely work with Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) on coordinating our ferry schedule with their train schedule. Thirty-six trains use the tracks daily, and we have 22 to 26 daily sailings out of Edmonds depending on the day of the week

“In spite of our best efforts, traffic volumes and service disruptions are unpredictable, and BNSF does have the right-of-way, so it’s inevitable that there are times when ferry traffic will be held up. We continue communications with our transportation partners and remain committed to constantly improving our related service schedule.”

What is drilling at Gorst RR bridge for?


The in basket: Robert Sherwood of Bremerton e-mails to say, “I see drilling equipment in operation next to the railroad bridge in Gorst. Soil samples, I assume.  

“Is a new railroad bridge in the plans for more lanes of traffic for Highway 3?  The backups cannot be tolerated anymore because of  this 1940’s era bridge.” 

The out basket: The backups will have to be tolerated longer. The work Robert sees is a project to bore a hole beneath the railroad tracks through which the final piece of a sewer line will be run.

The sewer line will link new homes on Anderson Hill on the other side of Gorst to the Bremerton sewer plant. All the green pipe we were seeing alongside Highway 3 last winter, now all underground, was part of that work.

Project Engineer Brad Ginn of the city said the boring job as been stalled by a series of large rocks that have required the contractor, D&D Boring, to send men into the casing to do hand mining. They are about two-thirds of the way through and hope to find easier material to bore through. But “the last 30 feet have been constant rock,” he said. 

The work is hard to spot, because even those workers not in the casing are down in the hole that accesses it. 

The widening of Highway 3 from Gorst to Bremerton, which would require a new railroad bridge, was one recommendation of a corridor study just completed this spring. But that’s advanced planning and any work would be years, if not decades, away.