Miller Bay Road lights hit roadblock

 - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

KINGSTON — The nearly completed Kingston High School is not only bringing in students from all over the North End, but also new construction and road improvements residents have sought for years.

But of the two projects slated for Miller Bay Road, only one has the green light.

Bids came back early last week for the two projects to install traffic signals at Miller Bay and West Kingston Road, Miller Bay and Indianola Road and Miller Bay and Gunderson Road. Both were anticipated to start in mid-June, but the Indianola and Gunderson roads project was halted after its low bid came in about $500,000 higher than Kitsap County officials expected.

“We should have the contract for (Miller Bay Road and West Kingston Road) awarded shortly, and that construction will start in June,” said Kitsap County Public Works engineering senior manager Tina Nelson. “The Miller Bay, Indianola and Gunderson roads project unfortunately came back $500,000 over what the engineer’s estimate was and what we have in our budget. We’re currently looking at the shortfall and looking at how to solve it.”

The West Kingston project is scheduled to be completed by late August or early September, ready to handle traffic when Kingston High School opens its doors, said Kitsap County Public Works project and design manager Dick Dadisman.

The other plan, which includes two new lights and major road improvements, would take about five to six months to finish.

“The road will not be closed at any point during construction,” Dadisman said of the West Kingston work. Residents may have to factor a few extra minutes into their travel plans, but the road will not be closed at any point, he said. “The Miller Bay and Indianola Road is a major project, because as well as the light and road improvements, we’ll be putting a bridge in as well over Grover’s Creek. We’ll have two lanes open the whole time, and the bridge will be built in shifts.”

The bridge will replace an existing culvert, making the infrastructure more environmentally friendly. Much of the construction for the Miller Bay and West Kingston light will be completed on the shoulders, Dadisman said, so it shouldn’t impede drivers as much.

“We’re basically trying to figure out how to make up the extra money,” said Kitsap County transportation planner Greg Cioc. “We’re starting to get close to the fish window. Right now we’re going through with the project, we just have to make the extra funding work. The project has to happen this year, it can’t wait another year.”

Nelson said she would know for sure when construction would start by the end of next week, as well as the final price for each project bid. Signs will be erected in the next month to advise drivers of the construction.

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