Tag Archives: Ross Point

SR166 shoulder cracks worry driver

The in basket: Sarah Harrison writes, “I am concerned about Highway 166 heading out of Port Orchard. I have noticed several slumps in the road for more than a month, and it seems to stretch for quite a ways this time.

“It started with dips at the edge, and now the paved road is cracking. Most of this currently lies outside of the fog line, but has been steadily progressing towards the road. I know that this has been a regular problem, and the road has been repaired several times.

“Are there any future plans for a permanent solution? Adding some kind of heavy duty seawall or something else to reduce the erosion seems like a reasonable idea, instead of repeated patching and repaving.

“I would not want to wait for tragedy before deciding it is time for a permanent solution,” she said.

I hadn’t noticed what Sarah had, but found at least three fractures that had slumped in the shoulder pavement along the straightaway just west of Ross Point when I went to look. Then there’s the slump in the westbound roadway on the east side of Ross Point, which was built up with additional asphalt last year. I can’t tell if it’s subsided any further.

Since the area west of Ross Point dropped away toward the water and was closed for months a couple of decades ago, I asked if there any special monitoring of this highway for conditions that could lead to slides from under the highway.

The out basket: Claudia Bingham-Baker of the state’s Olympic Region of state highways says, “We are aware of several areas along SR 166 that tend to settle.  Our maintenance crews keep a close eye on those areas and repair pavement sections as needed.

“WSDOT keeps a statewide database on slide/settlement areas, and fund long-term fixes to those areas on a priority basis. As you may imagine, the need for permanent repairs outweighs the funding for permanent repairs.

“The settlement areas along SR 166 do not rate high enough at this point to fund a permanent fix. Based on your reader’s observations, maintenance crews will go out to the area again to see if more pavement patches are needed.”



Ross Point parking limit puzzles Road Warrior

The in basket: I noticed a couple of months ago that the Ross Point area on Highway 166 had been posted for four-hour parking. That’s where smelt fishermen park their cars while they fish in Sinclair Inlet.

There can be dozen of cars lining the highway when the fish are running, but it seemed odd that anyone would need to park longer than four hours in pursuit of smelt, or for any other reason.  I asked what prompted the time limit.

The out basket: Port Orchard Police Chief Geoffrey Marti says, “Approximately two years ago we received many complaints regarding a homeless encampment that had developed at Ross Point. In investigating, we discovered a large campsite with several make-shift structures. The grounds had also become unsanitary, as you can imagine. A cleanup was organized, it took two days and several dumpsters.

“In order to prevent a reoccurrence and monitor this issue, four-hour parking limits allowed for lawful use of this area but helped curtail the developments of homeless camps,” he said.

If I’m wrong about what species the fisherman are after, I’m sure I’ll hear about it from you readers.

Brush grows thick at Ross Point

The in basket: Roadside vegetation becomes a problem every year about now, as grass and brush put on a growth spurt in early summer. 

I’ve been watching the growth along Highway 166 at Ross Point between Gorst and Port Orchard and have visions of lions crouching in the reeds and leaping out to attack my passing car.

A greater problem, of course, is the narrowing passage available to bicycles and pedestrians approaching and in the curve. I’m surprised I haven’t heard from ‘cyclists who have less and less space between them and passing cars in a poor visibility situation. Maybe they just instinctively avoid that highway and go up Highway 16 to the Port Orchard exits.

I wondered when the state’s mowing crews would get around to Ross Point.

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