Last SR 3 meeting revs up its engines

POULSBO — A new vision to keep traffic flowing on State Route 3 may soon be in place.

But not before the public has one more chance to weigh in on the plan.

The last public meeting in the SR 3 Route Development Plan process will take place from 6-8 p.m. Sept. 29 at Breidablik Hall in Poulsbo.

The Washington State Department of Transportation has been drafting the RDP for SR 3 from the State Route 305 interchange at Poulsbo to State Route 104 at the Hood Canal Bridge since March. The plan, being undertaken by the state, Kitsap County and City of Poulsbo, will document projects that should take place along the route in the next 20 years in order to maintain a Level of Service of “C” or better in traffic flow.

The process has included work by WSDOT staff members, meetings of a steering committee made up of impacted agencies and meetings with members of the public. Project Director Lynn Hakes, who directs projects throughout the state, praised the involvement of local residents through the RDP process.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from Kitsap County,” she commented. “To your credit, you have a lot of interested individuals who are very involved. It’s been a really fun study.”

Over the last six months, the process has progressed, despite one unexpected turn. At early RDP public meetings, citizens proposed the idea of a bypass route that might go through the Sawdust Hill Road area. That idea seemed to be the ultimate answer to some but the worst nightmare to residents of the potentially impacted area. After further study, WSDOT staff and the steering committee decided that cost and impact were too high to recommend that option.

The preferred alternative being set before the public Wednesday night is called the “Access alternative.” It would bring a level of service “C” by 2030; 20 acres of scenic areas would be impacted; less than 1 acre of wetlands would be affected; 40 buildings would be displaced; 80 acres of right of way would be needed; and travel time during peak hours would be 12.7 minutes. The estimated cost is $36 million.

The other proposed scenarios will also be covered at the Sept. 29 meeting.

Hakes urged citizens that have been involved in the past and who have not yet participated to attend next week. She said she will be seeking input from attendees on everything from the preferred alternative to potential locations of median breaks for the benefit of emergency crews and just the process in general.

“I’m really interested in their feedback,” she said.

There is one last steering committee meeting in this process. The recommendations and comments from the public meeting and steering committee will be sent to the WSDOT regional director for consideration. Final adoption of the RDP is expected by November.

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