Tag Archives: Salmonberry

New yellow gas line posts pop up in SK

The in basket: Louise Hoppe asks the purpose of a series of bright yellow plastic posts that have appeared on the shoulder of Salmonberry, Phillips and Long Lake roads in South Kitsap.

They read, vertically, “Warning. Natural Gas Pipeline” and list the main Cascade Natural Gas phone number.

Louise said she’d never seen them anywhere else, and neither have I.

The out basket: Chris Bossard, district manager for Cascade Natural Gas says they are a stepped up program to keep the company’s underground lines from being broken or damaged by digging. It started four or five weeks ago and is an effort to “increase public awareness and pipeline safety.”

The company has its lines marked in other places, but generally by horizontal signage, and mostly inside the cities. The tall, three-sided yellow poles will be showing up in areas outside the cities where a person might not suspect there is a gas line below.

They are permanent and will be replaced if damaged or run over, Chris says.

“You’ll definitely see a lot of them outside the city limits,” he said. The city serves places in pretty much every corner of the county, plus Belfair

The company still wants people to call 811 before digging, but the posts are intended to emphasize the need.

 

 

Huge Bethel Road project not proceeding soon

The in basket: Rance McEntyre and Richard Hood probably speak for thousands of South Kitsapers when they ask whether anything will be done soon to making Bethel Road south of Lund Avenue an easier place to drive.

Rance said last August, “I have heard over the years that the Bethel Corridor would receive an upgraded and/or be paved with turn lanes and beautify the area.

“Bethel Road is one of the worst roads most of us travel and is a major thoroughfare;. The road is full of cracks, dips, manhole plates and holes and literally shakes your car around while traveling. I am glad I don’t ride a motorcycle on this road!

“There are no turn lanes with drivers slamming on brakes and swerving onto the shoulders, causing near accidents near and around Salmonberry and Bethel Square. I ask this of our county government, when will we get a new and improved roadway?”

Richard said he was rear-ended on Bethel at Salmonberry in July, after barely stopping in time to avoid the car in front of him. There were no injuries and little damage, but he said, “I do not know the accident statistics on that stretch of Bethel, but I do wonder if there are any plans to add center lanes for turning traffic in the foreseeable future?

“The road has always seemed dangerous to me for drivers going in and out of traffic, and today made me scratch my head about it a little bit more,” he said.

The out basket: It’s no longer a Kitsap County project, as the road and its surroundings have been annexed into Port Orchard.

The city’s Public Works Director Mark Dorsey tells me the long-awaited improvements to Bethel are not imminent. The best he hopes for is about $200,000 worth of grinding out the worst pavement and replacing it, perhaps next year, “to at least address the poor road surface condition.”

“The Bethel plan has been designed and reviewed over 15 years, most recently in 2006,” he said. “We’ve inherited a very large problem to deal with, and first we must redesign the plan to break it into phases we can get funding for. And we must acquire the right of way, because the county didn’t.”

He wants to compare the costs and aesthetics of using roundabouts, which would look nicer, he said.

He sees no little federal money available to help. “Future federal funding is much more restrictive and/or risky,” he said. “Under MAP 21 rules, the city may not be able to accept (federal) grant funding for the redesign, environmental review or right-of-way acquisition.

“With luck, possibly the redesign (doubt it) in 2014, as well,” Mark said.

MAP-21 is shorthand for Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, a $105 billion “surface transportation” program signed into law by President Obama last July.

In the meantime, Mark is trying to find the money to proceed with two roundabouts on Tremont Street at Pottery Avenue and South Kitsap Boulevard, a project the city has had on the drawing boards almost as long as the county had the Bethel Corridor before surrendering it to the city.

 

 

Salmonberry Road upgrades depend on a couple of things

The in basket: Richard Brooks wonders when Salmonberry Road in South Kitsap will be repaved. It has needed resurfacing since 1965, he said, and gets patched about six times a year.

The out basket: Salmonberry is a peculiar looking road, in that the eastbound lane is in pretty good shape but the westbound lane is a mess. Most of those patch jobs Richard mentions must have been in that lane.

Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public works says it has a chip seal surface, which involves pouring gravel over hot oil and letting traffic compact it into a paved surface. That was last done in 1972.

The county’s biannual rating of Salmonberry had it at 55 on a scale of 100 in 2010. It will be rated again this year. If it has dropped below 49, it will get a new chip seal, Doug said.

The county plans to do a $100,000 study in 2013 of widening the lanes of Salmonberry and building sidewalks from Bethel Road to Jackson, but the actual work doesn’t appear on the county’s road plan, which goes out to 2017.

About $700,000 in improvements to Jackson Avenue’s intersection with Salmonberry is on the road plan for 2017.

 

 

Three ‘Your speed is’ signs now operating

The in basket: Jim Thomsen of the Kitsap Sun editing staff says, “About a month ago, a traffic sign with a lighted digital readout displaying each driver’s speed was installed on Illahee Road, halfway between

Third Street and the Illahee boat launch heading south toward Bremerton.

“It’s the kind that blinks out a warning if you exceed 25 mph, which is the speed limit on that portion of the road.

“I live near there and pass it a few times a day. It’s a good bit of behavior modification, as it’s a downhill straightaway that lends itself to the temptation to travel around 35-40 mph.

“About a week ago,” Jim said, “it stopped working. I noticed that the sign has what appears to be a solar panel atop it.

“My question is this: How fragile are these signs? How quickly can the county repair them — and is the holdup one of a backlog of work, or possibly prohibitive cost.” Jim said the sign was working again a couple days later. 

Finally, he asked “Where else in Kitsap are these installed?”

The out basket: I can’t say why the one on Illahee was briefly not working, but Jeff Shea of Kitsap County Public Works had answers to most of the other questions. 

“Kitsap County owns two of these signs,” he said. “We placed them on Silverdale Way in Central Kitsap and Salmonberry Road in South Kitsap. The Port of Illahee has purchased one that we installed and will maintain on Illahee Road.”

The city of Port Orchard has one on westbound Mile Hill Drive, but it’s trouble-prone and not working at present. Police Commander Geoff Marti says he has asked city public works to get it operating again, if possible. 

It’s hard wired to electricity. The three signs maintained by Kitsap County are solar powered, Jeff says. “The two that Kitsap County owns are portable. They are designed to move to locations on other arterial roads where chronic speeding is a problem. 

“As to reliability, we’ve only had them out for a couple of months.” he said. “Time will tell how reliable they prove to be.” The county had one on loan most of last year, evaluating it in both the Silverdale and Salmonberry locations where it has deployed them now that it has bought two of its own.

If there are any others in the county, aside from the ones on wheels that may or may not still be in service, I’m unaware of them.

Two ‘Your Speed Is…’ signs draw comment

The in basket: Ian MacKenzie and Don Baker have sent in questions about a pair of electronic signs that tell drivers their speed when they pass. 

Ian says about the sign that was on Silverdale Way just south of Byron Street, “I think it  is a great tool and I am sure it has greatly reduced speeds in the area. 

But whenever he has seen such a thing elsewhere, it always has had a speed limit sign attached, he said. 

“What good is a sign telling you how fast you are going if you don’t know what the speed limit is?” he asked, noting that the closest speed limit sign is back near Byron. “If you missed  it, you are out of luck before they are telling you how fast you are  going.”

Don is among hundreds, I’m sure, including me, who wonder if the City of Port Orchard’s similar sign half way down Mile Hill ever will be working again.

The out basket: After Ian asked his question, the county moved the electronic Silverdale sign, as they said they might when they put it in. It’s on Salmonberry Road in South Kitsap now.

“This sign is only a loaner from a vendor,” says Callene Abernathy of the county public works department.  “It has proven somewhat

effective and we have received mostly positive feedback.  At this point

we are going to have to decide if they are effective enough to warrant

the $10,000 cost, and also how we would deploy them (i.e. permanent mount

vs. relocatable installs).  

“If we were to purchase our own signs, we would definitely put them on longer poles, so a speed limit sign could be mounted on the sign,” Callene said.

Commander Geoffrey Marti of Port Orchard police says the sign on Mile Hill has quit working but they won’t leave it that way. They’ve ordered some parts for it, but it is not something the city is required to do, so it has a lower priority than some other things, especially when money is tight, he said.

***

Don prefaced his question about the speed sign by giving the county and its contractor a pat on the back for the recent work on Lake Flora Road. He called it “an outstanding job and done ahead of schedule, I think. If you have not been there you should take a ride and see the nice job,” he suggested.