Snow, the bridge detour and the Sedgwick hill

The in basket: I was talking with Roger Wiley at the recent all-’60s-classes South Kitsap High School reunion and he asked a question I imagine was asked by interested parties during public meetings leading up to the South Colby bridge closure. But I hadn’t heard it before and didn’t know the answer.

With all Southworth Drive traffic routed to Sedgwick Road for the months the road is closed for replacement of the bridge, how can people expect to get up or down the steep hill on Sedgwick just east of Locker Road in a snowstorm. That’s where nearly all of the detoured traffic will get onto or off of Sedgwick, using the prescribed detour.

The out basket: Kitsap County has made one adjustment to its normal snow removal plan in recognition of the detour, says Doug Bear of its public works department.

It has added Lake Valley Road between Sedgwick and Long Lake to its list of priority plowing routes. A lot of savvy drivers probably have used a “flat-land” detour in past snows to get around that hill. It skirts the problem via Lake Valley, Long Lake, Mullenix, Olalla Valley and Banner roads, or in reverse order coming from the east.

“(The state), the ferry system, SK Fire & Rescue, South Kitsap schools, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Postal Service are all aware of this project,” Doug said. “Both Locker Road and SE Southworth Drive are primary routes in our snow and ice plan. SR 160 is a primary route for the state, and usually receives prompt attention during snow and ice events.

“We are actively working with (the state) to develop inclement weather contingencies for SR 160, up to and including assistance in treating and plowing that stretch of the highway between Locker and Banner.”

The county doesn’t usually divert any of its plows to a state highway during snow, so that is another  departure from past practice and will be done at just the one location for the duration of the bridge project.

They won’t sign the route that goes out to Mullenix during a snow, as they haven’t the past, but will rely on drivers to figure it out.”We don’t have any official ‘snow’ routes posted,” Doug said. “Rather we use the priority and secondary route approach as outlined in our snow and ice removal policy.” You can see that at http://www.kitsapgov.com/pw/snowplow.htm and it’s a good resource to understand what to expect of the county when it snows, irrespective of the detour and Sedgwick Hill.

One thought on “Snow, the bridge detour and the Sedgwick hill

  1. Heading toward the ferry on Sedgwick I wish the detour sign back onto Banner Rd had a secondary sign which pointed out that the ferry can be found by driving straight. I’ve had a couple friends express surprise at the length of the detour and then I realized that they must have driven all the way back down Banner and up Southworth drive to get back to the ferry. Silly for anyone passingly familiar with the roads around here, but possibly creating some unnecessary traffic on Banner from those that aren’t.

    Also, there are some cars coming down off Mile Hill which continue straight into the closed road so be careful about taking the left off Locker when there is oncoming traffic.

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