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Long-awaited transit station project is on its way

POULSBO — City officials are breathing a collective sigh of relief this week as Kitsap Transit is expected to break ground on the new 8th Avenue Transit Station Monday.

The station, which has been in the works between Poulsbo and the transit organization for years, is planned to relieve traffic congestion along 8th Avenue in front of Christ Memorial Church. The bus stop is frequented by transfer busses that must make extended stops, thus blocking one lane of traffic on the two-lane road.

“I’m not sure there’s been any accidents down there, but we’ve had a lot of reports of near misses,” Poulsbo City Engineer John Stephenson said of the traffic on 8th Avenue.

Stephenson said relieving 8th Avenue comes in two parts. First, Poulsbo recently worked with Kitsap Transit to move busses headed for the ferries to a stop inside the park and ride in the church parking lot. Second, he said, Kitsap Transit will build the 8th Avenue Transit station on city- and state-held land on 8th Avenue between the Terhune building and the Poulsbo Eye Clinic.

“The whole deal is it takes all the busses off 8th Avenue. That’s the whole benefit,” Stephenson said.

The Christ Memorial stop on 8th Avenue will still be used after the construction of the transit station, however, the busses will only stop long enough to pick up and drop off passengers.

The new station will feature two or three fully accessible pedestrian shelters, but will not include parking spaces because it is intended for transfer busses only. The transit stop will be built on the east side of the street and will allow busses to enter from either State Highway 305 or 8th Avenue and be completely off the street. It will also be wide enough to allow most busses to turn around and head in the opposite direction without having to make a turn via city streets.

“It provides for lots of different movements for busses,” explained Stephenson.

Kitsap Transit has also planned that the station’s driveway will be electronically locked so that it cannot be used by motorists who want to exit or enter Highway 305 there.

Kitsap Transit Capital Facilities Director Wendy Clark-Getzin said Contractor Ace Paving was hired for the project Nov. 3 and will begin work on the station Nov. 18. Crews will be working at the site until after the beginning of the year, however once the paving is completed around Dec. 24 commuters will be able to start using the bus stop.

Stephenson said the city does not expect any traffic delays due to the construction.

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