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County road idea irks Hansvillites

HANSVILLE — Residents along Hood Canal Drive NE are fighting to keep their road the way it is — small with just minor pavement repairs.

But Kitsap County has proposed several options to enlarge the route, including building a brand new road.

Residents, county officials and staff members will have a chance to sit down this week to discuss options for Hood Canal Drive — a road that hasn’t seen any major improvements for nearly 50 years. An open house will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Hansville Community Center concerning the county’s proposed project.

The section of Hood Canal Drive in question is between NE Cliffside Road and NE Hood Canal Place.

This portion was constructed in stages between 1957 and 1970, but has not seen any major improvements since its development.

The current stretch has 10-foot lanes with two-foot shoulders and deteriorating pavement, said Dick Dadisman, design manager for the project.

An open house was held in May at which three options for the improvement project were presented to residents. The three projects proposed widening and resurfacing the road, as well as expanding the shoulders.

Following the meeting, a survey with the three options was sent to 580 homes in the neighborhoods of Hood Canal Drive, Shorewood, Driftwood Key and Foulweather Bluff.

Of the 580 surveys, 126 were returned with comments rallying for a fourth option to just maintain and repair the current stretch of road, rather than create a wider one.

Thursday’s meeting will present the fourth option in its entirety and allow for more public comment, Dadisman said.

But residents are still upset about the original options presented and plan to fight them.

Resident Kathy Bourassa calls the first three options “fairly radical improvements,” noting she and many of her neighbors feel widening the road would encourage drivers to speed even more so than they do now.

The speed limit along that stretch is currently 25 miles per hour, but Bourassa and others estimate drivers are doing double that.

She said residents will stick with what they asked for in May — no widening of the road but repave it, paint foglines and work on developing a connecting road.

Dadisman said the connector road Bourassa is referring to was part of a planned unit development called Hansville Homestead, but the plan, and the idea for the road, fell through when the area was rezoned in the late 1990s.

While the cost to create the connector road now would be millions, Dadisman said the idea isn’t dead and is a possibility for the future.

“It would take an effort to do that,” he said. “I don’t think we are against doing that.”

Following Thursday’s meeting, Dadisman said he hopes to proceed with a design plan for a preferred option. “Based on the first comments, we are leaning towards Option Four to satisfy the needs and desires of the community.”

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