Is Bremerton boardwalk really a sewer project?

Bremerton Public Works officials say they never would have proposed the 20-foot-wide boardwalk from downtown Bremerton to Evergreen-Rotary Park were it not for the need to maintain a new sewer line along the beach. (That’s not to say, however, that the parks department or mayor’s office wouldn’t have proposed something.)

It seems a lot of people don’t believe that the boardwalk proposal resurfaced after 20 years because of a sewer, and I’m open to evidence that anyone might have on this point.

In a story in Sunday’s Kitsap Sun, I examined the potential environmental consequences of building the boardwalk. Effects of shadows cast by the main part of the boardwalk, running north and south, would be far greater if the orientation of the boardwalk were east and west, experts say. Two finger piers that stretch from the boardwalk to the shoreline might result in greater impacts than the much longer boardwalk itself. One of those piers is planned entirely for sewer access; the other would include a pedestrian component.

I can see why people don’t believe city officials when they say the boardwalk is largely a sewer project. The transportation and recreation amenities seem too great for the boardwalk to be connected with sewage in any way.

If city officials want more people to believe that such a large overwater structure costing $24 million is truly needed, it might help if they fully explained how and why all other alternatives were ruled out — including a discussion of costs.

For example, one option would be to abandon the sewer line after buying up all 54 homes served by the line. While we can debate the political and legal wisdom of such a move, an analysis of the costs would be most revealing.

5 thoughts on “Is Bremerton boardwalk really a sewer project?

  1. Mr. Dunagan,

    Thank you for a detailed and insightful article Sunday. Nice to see the KitsapSun taking a some what investigative approach to its reporting. very refereshing….

    It is my strong belief that each and every American citizen wants to believe what our governments representative such as our President, Governor, Mayor, Council-member and so on…

    But our wise founding fathers knew that if those in power were left to their own devices without threat of the peoples scrutiny, the strength and independence of our great nation would be jepordized. In over 200 years that has not changed and it is the responsibilitiy of citizens to not only question government desicions but to expect and demand our questions and concerns be heard and answered!

    In todays world local governments seem to be shying away from doing their own analyisis and seem to more and more rely on consultants to think for themselves. Whose interest are they looking out for I wonder??????

    This board”WALK” project is one instance that our forefathers would hoe the populace would take advantaage of the power we were given and ask the City for explanation and accountability.

    Mayor Bozeman, Just answer the questions we need answers to… Come on…

  2. Surely the peoples’s Fourth Estate is not suggesting that it is preferable to force 54 homeowners from their properties than to inconvenience a few fish with a little shade? (And really, Chris, the “science” of the nearshore “impacts” is nowhere near definitive enough to push for more Statism).

  3. I’m always surprised when people think I’ve taken a position on something when I’m only trying to make sure that the arguments are fully developed on all sides.

    There are more than enough opinions to go around about the boardwalk. I’m just saying that city officials would do well to show the public how and why they ruled out other alternatives for the sewer line.

  4. How is buying 54 homes better? The cost has got to be nearly the same, if not more considering the cost of bulldozing the homes, conducting remediation, and putting in a park or native vegetation. taking out 54 homes is plain silly.

  5. Brock,

    Not anymore silly than building a massive overwater road structure at such a huge cost to local citizens to fix a sewer main that shouldn’t be placed on the beach to begin with.

    I honestly wouldn’t mind a boardwalk for citizens to enjoy water access with. But there is no need to make it 28 feet wide with a solid concrete deck.

    I agree with you that buying up the properties ( and I think if you look at a map Mr. Williams may be overstating that number considerably) might be unrealistic. But unless the City has bigger plans for those properties, it can’t possibly cost $24 million to pump those houses to an upland main.

    This project has a long, long way to go and many hurdles to overcome. The City is only hurting its chances by not being upfront and honest with its citizens.

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