Ruined Illahee Road guard rail worked as intended

The in basket: Yvonne Dean wondered if I knew what hit the guardrail on Illahee Road just downhill from Fischer Park in Central Kitsap. It was badly damaged, she said.

The out basket: This didn’t sound like the makings of a Road Warrior column until I went and looked at it. Then I saw that the inner workings of modern guard rails are shown by what’s left of this one.

County Road Superintendent  Jacques Dean said the guard rail worked just as it’s intended to when its end is struck by a vehicle. It buckles, curls and pops loose from its spacers to keep the guardrail from spearing into the vehicle, a possible additional source of injury or death.

He said the identity and type of vehicle that hit this guardrail isn’t known, and the sheriff’s department is trying to identify who and what it was.

Normally, the responsible driver is known from the outset, and the county seeks compensation for the damage through it’s risk management department from the driver or his insurance. Some of this rail may be salvageable, but the repair still could be a $5,000 project, he said.

The county installed a lot of new guard rails on this stretch of Illahee Road a few years ago, using a safety grant, and this stretch is one of them. The others use the same technology, as do all of the county’s new guard rail installations. The county adds a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of new guard rail every other year.

How modern guard rail works
How modern guard rail works

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