Tag Archives: Sinclair Inlet

Gorst traffic called dangerous and congested

The in basket: JoAnne Stefanac wrote on March 16, “I see, yet again today, another accident in Gorst.  This time, northbound, which is not unusual for the AM commute.
“It seems as though, about once a week, we have some kind of accident in the stretch between the Tremont exit and the (Highway) 304 exit.  Some more severe than others, of course.  This morning, I was listening to KIRO radio and the traffic guy there said the backup was four miles due to the crash.
“Whenever there’s a crash, big backups ensue. I don’t think there are backups on a REGULAR (non-crash) day, but one little fender bender and then it’s a problem.
“The question is, how many MORE accidents, fender benders, injuries, deaths, and 3-5 (or more) mile inching-along backups do we have to have before SOMETHING is done about this particular stretch of road? Is anyone even keeping track of the mayhem that happens along this stretch most days?  It’s just so scary to drive along there.
“Seems you take your life in your hands and I feel for those who are subjected to it on a daily basis,” she said.
A somewhat related comment comes from Tom Baker, who e-mails to say, “I am starting to hear about a WSDOT project to replace  the Anderson Creek culvert, near where Anderson Hill Road SW intersects with Highway16.
“This project, and its traffic impacts, will certainly bring up a discussion of a Sinclair Inlet bridge (that would bypass Gorst). This subject comes up quite frequently, everyone says it should be done, but no real discussion of what it would cost and if it’s even feasible. One proposal was to create a bridge using mothballed aircraft carriers.
 “Can you dig into this, and see if WSDOT has ever considered this, along with costs and if its even possible?”
The out basket: Claudia Bingham Baker, spokeswoman for the Olympic Region of state highways, says, “WSDOT has a traffic study under way in that area. Funded by a grant received by the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council, part of the study will analyze traffic patterns and crash data through Gorst. The study is a necessary step toward identifying any future improvements through the area.”
She also reminded us of work expected in 2017 to revise the junction of highways 3 and 304 near Bremerton to let both southbound lanes of 3 continue through and require out-bound Bremerton traffic to enter at an on-ramp, which will affect traffic in the opposite direction of what JoAnne mentions.
I imagine that whatever consideration a bridge over Sinclair Inlet gets, it would be part of the traffic study. I’ve always heard that the shortest crossing presents significant steepness problems between the South Kitsap side and the Bremerton side, a serious issue when it’s icy or snowing.
Claudia said she had no comment on the subject of such a bridge.

Barges in Sinclair Inlet explained

The in basket: For many weeks now I have been eying some barges moored along the southern Sinclair Inlet shoreline between Port Orchard and Gorst with large steel structures on them, painted white and yellow.

Recently, another barge showed up next to them with concrete structures aboard and rebar sticking out.

Also, out in the middle of the inlet, there is a large boxy blue barge, which resembles those installed next to construction sites where waste water has to be treated, though those usually are dull green in color.

I want looking for an explanation of the barges.

The out basket: My first call went to Paul Fritts of Thompson Pile Driving, located a short distance from the barges. He always seems to have his finger on the pulse of what’s going on in Sinclair Inlet.

Sure enough, he is the lessor of the moorage where the large blue box is, he said. It’s a fish processing barge he expected to have gone off to Alaska by now, but it hasn’t.

He had to guess as to the purpose of the structures on the other barges, but he guessed right in saying they are probably for construction going on at the Bangor naval base.

Leslie Yuenger, Public Affairs Officer for Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest told me when I asked, “The barges located in Sinclair Inlet are being staged there until the second explosives handling wharf at Bangor is ready to receive the materials onboard.”