That double on-ramp at Newberry Hill Road

The in basket: Val Morgan writes, “I have always wondered why there are two on-ramps to southbound Highway 3 at Newberry Hill Road. It’s very dangerous, with two on-ramps merging into 60-mph traffic. 
“Seems the logical choice would be to close one of the on-ramps, and my vote would be for the ‘uphill’ one, nearer the railroad tracks, as it seems to have less traffic. 


The in basket: Val Morgan writes, “I have always wondered why there are two on-ramps to southbound Highway 3 at Newberry Hill Road. It’s very dangerous, with two on-ramps merging into 60-mph traffic. 
“Seems the logical choice would be to close one of the on-ramps, and my vote would be for the ‘uphill’ one, nearer the railroad tracks, as it seems to have less traffic. 
“I’m always nervous getting on the freeway at that location, and have seen more than one near-miss,” Val said.
The out basket: Steve Bennett of the state highway engineers in the Olympic Region says, “While the ramp is unconventional in its design, motorists do not seem to be having a problem using it.  We looked at Washington State Patrol collision records for the last three years and found no collisions had taken place on the ramp. 
“The ramp volumes seem to be split with about one third of the traffic coming from the ramp by the railroad tracks and two thirds coming from the ramp nearer the interchange.  We have no plans to alter the ramp at this time,” Steve concluded.
The Road Warrior would add that adding all the cars now using the upper ramp to the flow coming around the downhill corner on eastbound Newberry Hill Road would make that difficult intersection even more of a hassle than it is today.
Whatever hazard exists there can be reduced by motorists remembering the rules in such a double merge. As was mentioned in the Road Warrior column in January of 2006, that rule is that cars in the lane that is ending must yield to those in the lane they are entering. So the uphill lane traffic must yield to cars in the lower on-ramp and both must yield to cars in the through lanes.

4 thoughts on “That double on-ramp at Newberry Hill Road

  1. Great, the same people who say that it must not be a problem when there are no recorded deaths or accidents must feel the same if a restaurant has not killed any one by food poisioning in the last three years so it must be good restaurant.
    The panic of a near miss or the confusion felt is not material to the design phase of any project unless it, of course, causes a recorded injury or death.
    Do highway engineers actually drive on our freeways and listen to complaints or do they just read police reports to determine if a problem exists? It is the same old, “It has never happened to me, so it must not be a problem” attitude.
    It will be interesting to see how the “new” Silverdale & Bremerton exchange will pan out for the drivers and the highway engineers.

  2. The more practice a driver has driving on such configurations, the less ‘confused’ they will be.
    Being aware of traffic and accelerating to traffic speed by the time the on ramp meets the highway works unless a hesitant driver is ahead.

    The problems I see are those concerning drivers moving at a crawl down the on-ramp, then hesitant to enter highway traffic.
    Sharon O’Hara

  3. The reason the upper ramp was created was for the dump trucks coming down Newberry Hill from the Ace Paving gravel pit. Before the upper ramp was built there were a number of truck turn-overs and spilled loads at the upper curve.

  4. Gay, who are you to deny hundreds of drivers, who have no problem driving this ramp, the use of it? My advise is to man up and stop whining like a little girl. If you are afraid to drive it, take another ramp.

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