Tag Archives: Warren Avenue

Warren Avenue barrier to get better lighting

The in basket: Charlie Ballew writes, “Twice this month I almost hit pedestrians (probably PSNS workers going to work) during the morning at 4th and Warren Avenue and 5th and Warren Avenue.  The pedestrians were wearing dark clothing and I didn’t see them until I was almost on them.

“We need to have overhead street lights at these two intersections,” he said.

The out basket: Charlie’s comment echoes that of

Dale Gilchrist, who told an almost identical story back in March 2013, shortly after the center barrier was installed on Warren.

The city’s position then came from street engineer Gunnar Fridriksson, who said, “a recent city traffic study showed little nighttime accident history on Warren at that point.

“The accidents were primarily daytime – very few nighttime accidents,” he said. “I think there were four total for the report period in our traffic study – all vehicle accidents.

“So street lighting was not part of the design effort with the latest improvement. That being said, we have been trying to get resources to look at overall street lighting levels citywide. It is on our to-do list, just as we have time to get to it.”

I asked Gunnar’s successor, Jerry Hauth, what’s new and he said better lighting is coming to that stretch of Warren. He said Puget Sound energy “will be augmenting the lighting in this area in conjunction with the work on Americans with Disability Act ramps the state will start to install next spring.”

He included a preliminary sketch of the work, which shows four 35-foot wood poles to be installed with 102-watt LED lights that appear to go on diagonal corners of the two intersections.

Diagonal breaks in Warren Avenue barrier explained

The in basket: As often as I have driven north on Warren Avenue in Bremerton from Burwell Street since the city took one northbound lane of Warren for a raised barrier, I hadn’t noticed a third break in the barrier at both Fourth and Fifth streets.

Crosswalks pass though two of the gaps at each intersection. But the third gap, running on an angle through the barrier, is a puzzlement. It doesn’t look like it adds anything to handling storm runoff.

The other day, I saw a motorcyclist drive through it during rush hour, stopping in the middle to let traffic clear so he could continue west on Fourth Street.

I asked it that is the intent and was it legal?

The out basket: No, says Gunnar Fridriksson of the city street engineers. The motorcyclist committed an infraction for which he could have been cited. But the gap IS for traffic – bicycle traffic – which can legally pass through it, Gunnar said. “It is diagonal to give additional storage space when they are stopped in the median.”

Little Warren Avenue project an outgrowth of much bigger one

The in basket: I’ve been past the little pedestrian island the city of Bremerton added at 17th Street and Warren Avenue several times, and decided to ask what prompted it.

The out basket: I’m glad I did because it grew out of planning for a much bigger project that has begun. The eight  metal platforms that appeared in the eastern sidewalk of the Warren Avenue Bridge last week are for that project, the million-and-a-half dollar replacement of a major water line suspended from the bridge.

“With the water main replacement, we starting looking at traffic control plans and how to better accommodate pedestrians during construction, as we need to close the sidewalk on the east side temporarily,” said Gunnar Fridriksson, managing street engineer for the city.

“When we looked overall at the south end of the bridge, both sides were very lacking in Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) facilities.

So we worked with Olympic College to put a small project together that extended the sidewalk on the west side and put new ADA ramps there, along with putting them in at 17th Street along with the pedestrian island.”

He turned me over to utilities engineer Bill Davis for information on the water main job, which also is discussed at http://www.ci.bremerton.wa.us/display.php?id=1201.  I had asked the purpose of the eight platforms.

“The scaffolds you see will allow the contractor to remove and replace the water main that hangs under the bridge sidewalk,” he said. “The scaffolds have wheels and will move between the light poles along the bridge sidewalk.

“They will set up their equipment to put the pipe in place under the north side of the bridge off of Lebo Boulevard. The work is being done by IMCO of Ferndale, and we anticipate completion in late April.”

The outside northbound lane will be closed at times for the work. The closures will be at night (7 p.m. and 6 a.m.) throughout the project, and during the day (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) for up to 20 separate periods, Bill said.

IMCO has permission to close both northbound lanes at night (7 p.m. to 6 a.m.), up to five times, he said, but indicates it probably won’t have to, he said. If they do, the southbound lanes will become two-way for that period.

Closure of the bridge’s east sidewalk has begun. The sidewalk on the other side is open and a detour under the bridge has been marked to direct pedestrians on the east side how to get there.

Bill said two other cross-Narrows water lines, on the Manette Bridge and under water, will provide sufficient water to the east side while the Warren Avenue Bridge line is out of service.



Is there a plan to widen Bremerton’s Warren Avenue?

The in basket: Anyone who visited the Web site about the newest parking lots at Olympic College, the address for which I provided in a recent Road Warrior column about how shabby the landscaping looks, might have raised an eyebrow in reading this assertion on the site.

“During coordination efforts with the City of Bremerton and the Washington State Department of Transportation,” the Web site says, “we learned that there are plans to widen Warren Avenue. Since we did not want to waste resources constructing parking that would be demolished shortly, we planned for the widening and landscaped the impacted area with low ground covers.”

Such a plan for Warren Avenue was news to me. I asked the city and state about that.

The out basket: The college won’t be losing ground to any widening of Warren Avenue any time soon.

Gunnar Fridriksson of the city’s street engineers says it refers to the findings of a study called the SR 303 Bremerton to Silverdale Transportation Corridor Study, completed in 2002.

It analyzed a bunch of ways Wheaton Way and Warren Avenue, collectively known as SR or Highway 303, could keep up with future demand.

Among the proposals was widening the highway to six or seven lanes between 11th Street and Fairgrounds Road, including a $26 million widening of Warren Avenue Bridge. Alternatives included a new bridge over Port Washington Narrows in one place or another, and adding HOV lanes to the existing highway

“Remember,” Gunnar said, “this (was) shortly after Initiative 695 passed and quite a few projects were shelved/dropped. I cannot recall if either the city or WSDOT formally adopted (the study).”

Claudia Bingham-Baker of the Olympic Region of state highways is concise on the question. “WSDOT has no plans to widen Warren Avenue,” she said.


What does Warren Avenue barrier mean to parade route?

The in basket: Among the questions and comments generated by the center median the city of Bremerton had installed on Warren Avenue, consuming one northbound lane between Burwell and Sixth streets and blocking cross-traffic at Fourth and Fifth street, is a simple question from James Hochstein: “How will the Armed Forces day parade be accommodated?”

The out basket: I’m guessing the former parade route must have crossed Warren on either Fourth or Fifth.

Gunna Fridriksson of the city street engineers says, “We did discuss this with the Armed Forces parade committee last winter.  At the time they were pretty busy with the 2012 parade and deferred discussion, but we did discuss some of the other staging options, such as Park Avenue.

“My expectation is that right after the New Year, we will get together and work it out,” Gunnar said.

New OC crosswalk and accesses bring concern

The in basket: Phil Olwell of Bremerton thinks one of the signs recently posted on Broadway Avenue in Bremerton along the expanded Olympic College parking lot between Broadway and Warren Avenue mis-characterizes its crosswalk.

“I think that first sign northbound shouldn’t say ‘raised crosswalk,’ it should say ‘depression in the road,’ ” Phil said.

Another reader who didn’t leave a name called the Sun’s assignment desk to suggest the new parking lot will worsen things for drivers on Warren.

“He said it seems like there are more entrances and exits, and that brings the potential for more congestion in that area,” assignment editor Kim Rubenstein said in passing it along to me.

The out basket: I suppose Phil has a point about the first of the crosswalks one encounters heading north from 13th Street. It actually is kind of a raised crosswalk on its leading edge and a dip in the road on its trailing edge. as it provides a flat place for pedestrians to walk on what otherwise would be a slope.

But I don’t think the sign does any harm. “Raised crosswalk” would get drivers to slow down, which is the goal and would minimize the bump from the depression.

There is one more driveway into and out of the new parking lot, but curbing installed on Warren Avenue’s centerline prevents left turns into and out of it. It seems to me one or more of the pre-existing accesses also got that curbing, making them all right-in-right-out-only accesses, which should minimize congestion of an accidental nature.

Next year when the city extends the right turn lane from Warren to westbound 11th Street, there should be significant easing of the backups on Warren, which certainly are getting worse almost weekly.

What will Manette Bridge deck be made of?

The in basket: Gary Reed says he’s curious about the decking material that is planned for the new Manette Bridge.

“Will it be the same material as was used on the Warren Avenue Bridge that is already deteriorating, or yet another new miracle material?

“I also noticed there are traffic counters installed on the existing Manette Bridge,” Gary said. “Is someone changing their mind about the replacement? Seems a little late to determine traffic flow, and maybe not too accurate with the bridge being shut down at least one day a week.”

The out basket: Jeff Cook, project engineer for the bridge job, says the riding surface for the new bridge will be an 8-inch thick, reinforced concrete deck construction….  This is the standard concrete for bridge decks used throughout the state highway and interstate system (so no “new miracle” material).”

Warren Avenue Bridge has a 3/4-inch polyester concrete overlay atop light weight concrete.

“As to changing minds about the replacement of the existing structure, the answer is no,” Jeff said. “The continued construction of the new bridge is evidence of that.  And just to be clear; the new bridge is going up; existing bridge is coming down.

“The counters are placed throughout the area at this time … to get a baseline reading and account for variations in daily travel patterns,” he said.

“We use the information collected for a variety of reasons.  Specific to Manette Bridge, we continue to monitor traffic counts and peak hourly volumes to work on possible solutions to minimize impact to traffic and commuter vehicles while maintaining an efficient construction operation.”

Bridge surface looks rough, but it’s holding up

The in basket: Perry East writes, “I recall several years the much-touted latex asphalt pavement over the Warren Avenue Bridge (in Bremerton) was the cure-all. How has it been holding up?”

The out basket: Chris Keegan, the Olympic Region’s bridge expert for the state, says the patches that give the bridge a troubled look really comprise less than 1 percent of the surface and the surface is holding up well.

He started with  the basics.

“The overlay placed on the Warren Avenue Bridge was a polyester overlay,” he said. “It is just three-quarters of an inch thick.

“The underlying concrete deck was made with lightweight concrete. Instead of hard aggregate, i.e. rocks, they used a lightweight material. This enabled the bridge designer to design longer spans without putting more piers in the water.

“The lightweight concrete does not wear well so the design included an asphalt wearing course. The asphalt wearing course was removed and the thin polyester overlay placed on the deck. This was done, I believe, in 1992.

“One of the reasons for the polyester overlay,” Chris said, “is that it would last longer than asphalt. This was one of the first uses of the polyester overlay in the state and we had problems with the material setting up. In some cases it just did not get hard. We were in patching the deck soon after the contract.

“The deck area of the Warren Avenue Bridge is 94,435 square feet. The patched area after 18 years is 567 square feet, or about half of 1 percent. The other 99.5 percent of the deck is in good condition. Despite a rough start, the polyester overlay is holding up well.”

Polyester overlays have been used quite extensively by the state in the last 10 years, including on I-5 for the Puyallup River bridges, he concluded.