Part of Highway 304 median gets a close haircut

The in basket: I notice that a stretch of the overgrown median on Highway 304 just west of Bremerton, known as The Gateway,  has been mowed to neaten it up. I wondered when it was done and by whom, and whether the city of Bremerton still plans a volunteer cleanup of the remaining untended median between Charleston Beach Road and Farragut Avenue this spring.

The city had volunteers weed the stretch between Farragut and First Street last fall, with traffic control and beauty bark followup by city workers. The latest work was more of a clear cut than a weeding.

The out basket: Chal Martin, city public works director, says, “Yes, we are trying to improve the appearance of the Gateway. The middle section is planned for a volunteer event Saturday, April 26.  More to come on the specifics, but the concept is the same as last fall.

“The outer section work was a joint Public Works/Parks project on March 12. Over the winter in 2012-2013, we attempted to hand-weed this section using labor from our pool of work-release folks. Unfortunately the labor pool was not reliable and we spent a lot of time setting up a work zone every time the work crew was scheduled, and very little work got done.

“So although that idea was a failure, we learned a lot. One of the things we learned was that, due to the extensive growth of weeds, weeding was not possible without significantly cutting back all of the other growth. So we came up with the alternate idea of using a combination of heavy machinery and hand labor, but this time performing the job with our city staff.  They know what they are doing and can work safely, quickly and efficiently.

“We have some additional work planned this week, and then I think that will be it for the outer segment for this year.  We will then watch what happens and dial in what we have learned into next year’s maintenance.”

5 thoughts on “Part of Highway 304 median gets a close haircut

  1. Noticed they were out there again yesterday, doing more cutting in this area. Seems such a shame that they just planted this area not long ago and now, due to overgrowth, they’re mowing it flat to the ground. Didn’t anyone do some research on appropriate plantings for such a spot, BEFORE they planted there? Things that wouldn’t grow TOO big or require tending to keep it in check? Maybe it’s time to put down weed block and cover it with river rock or something.

  2. Why not use creative landscaping for such areas? Rock and interesting downed tree formations usually trump messy ongoing live plant pruning and clean-ups. And usually provide great visual interest for those who see it.

  3. JoAnne. No they did not. In fact then Mayor Cary Bozeman did not even run the plantings or the design though the city’s own parks department staff who were well educated at the time and could have made recommendations/suggestions that could have avoided the majority of the situation the city and we the taxpayers find ourselves with today. The agreement that was drawn up between the county and the city (also approved by then Mayor Bozeman) places the burden of the maintenance upon the City of Bremerton Parks Department despite the fact that they were shut out of the decision making process. It is a crappy agreement that is not really worth the paper it is written on.

    Sharon, those suggestions have been made and discussed. It will take money to correct and complete these suggestions. Money that is not available within the city budget at this time.

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