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Funding ready to roll for State Route 305

POULSBO — Earlier this year, the City of Poulsbo renewed the effort to put together a funding package for the State Route 305 widening project.

And this week, the final piece to the puzzle was put into place.

The Washington State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) announced Monday that it had awarded the City of Poulsbo $3.5 million for needed upgrades to SR 305.

In the city’s possession already was $3.2 million from the Puget Sound Regional Council; $5.6 million from the Olhava developer; $2.9 million in federal grants; and $1.9 million in state funding.

Both the City of Poulsbo and Kitsap Transit are also on line to contribute a couple hundred thousand dollars each. Poulsbo’s share has already been identified in the city’s Transportation Improvement Plan.

The TIB grant puts Poulsbo up to the $17.5 million total it needed to complete the improvements.

“We’re really excited,” Project Engineer Andrzej Kasiniak commented this week. “Everything is funded now. We’re done.”

At least, the project’s search for a funding source is done. There is still much to be done before construction takes place.

The design for the new roadway, which will include two new 12-foot, peak-hour high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, 6.5-foot sidewalks and curbs and 6-foot bike lanes, was recently completed. A biological assessment, permitting, assessment and purchase of right-of-way and utility relocation are on the docket for 2005.

The total price estimate is broken down as $1.1 million for permitting and documents, $5.1 million for right-of-way and $11.8 million for construction.

The last piece of funding comes out of a $70 million pot of money, for which Poulsbo was in competition with about 350 other applicants from across the state. Kasiniak said the most interesting thing to him was that Poulsbo received the second largest piece of the pie, behind Pierce County and was in a dead heat with Snohomish County. He added that the award comes in ahead of his own personal goal for the SR 305 project.

“My plan was to obtain the funding in 2004 and 2005 so that if I wasn’t successful this year, my plan was to reapply,” he explained. “I was thinking I would be 50 percent successful this year.”

Acquiring the needed money also assures that funding will not stand in the way of the project being built during the 2006 and 2007 summer construction season as planned. Kasiniak explained that the size and scope of the project will require two summers, however, he said folks already sitting in traffic on the route will not see much more inconvenience during construction.

“I believe what they plan to do here is do the widening on one side and keep the traffic where it is and then switch and do the opposite,” Kasiniak said. “Of course, it sounds good on paper but there will probably be some interruptions.”

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