The in basket: A couple of days after I was channeled past
the the recent McWilliams Road ditching project for
CenturyLink, just east of Highway 303, a woman reader had the same
experience. It wasn’t much of a problem for either of us. But after
her second time through, she told a different story in a phone call
to the Sun’s newsroom.
As editor David Nelson related the conversation to me, she
turned onto McWilliams on December 9 and said the flagger had
completely shut down the road with no detour signs or warning. Her
complaint was that the guy was a jerk when she pulled into a
driveway to get pointed the other way, and that any Walgreen’s
customer was unable to turn into the store’s parking lot. And that
anyone headed to Illahee had a six-mile detour with no warning.
David said the question in his mind is what notice is required when
you close a road like that. “I’m assuming that notice or detour
signs are required in any roadwork contract,” he said, ” but what
happens when a company doesn’t fulfill the requirement?”
I asked the county if full closure of McWilliams was permissible
under whatever permit the county had issued for the work. It is
listed on the county’s weekly road work report, which anyone can
see online at www.kitsapgov.com/pw/roadwork.htm, but there is no
mention of a total closure.
The out basket: Dale Blackwood, lead right-of-way inspector for
Kitsap County Public Works, said, “I checked with the contractor
regarding your reader’s concern. They did recall the incident with
the woman, who was frustrated with the delay and vocalized her
frustration to the contractor.
“Contrary to her report, the road was never completely closed,”
Dale said. “The entrance to the Walgreen’s was closed during the
work and that seemed to frustrate your reader, but the other
entrance to Walgreen’s (off Highway 303) was open.
“Because of the high volume of traffic there, and the proximity
to the very busy intersection of McWilliams and Highway 303, there
were significant delays for motorists passing through the work
“Under the permit issued for this type of work, temporary
closures of a roadway are permissible,” he said. “If the closure
exceeds 12 hours, it must be approved and authorized by the Board
of County Commissioners. Cannon Construction, (which is doing the
work for CenturyLink, “has always proved reliable in observing
permit restrictions in the work they’ve done along
county-maintained rights-of-way,” Dale said.