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Council gets solid view of 305

POULSBO — While the approaching widening of State Route 305 from Bond Road to the south city limits has drawn rays of criticism and concern, commuters won’t see much as they move along the highway.

In response to a request from Washington State Department of Transportation Project Engineer Steve Fuchs, the city council unanimously granted a night work exemption Wednesday, allowing work to be done at night whenever possible.

“This stretch of 305 carries an average of 27,000 cars a day and the benefits of night work will be obvious to the traveling public,” Fuchs told the council before the vote.

The project includes several time and labor intensive aspects, including the installation of several large culverts and the construction of retaining walls, he said.

“The project will be symmetric from the Hostmark vicinity to Lincoln and from Lincoln to Bond — it will be all the property to the eastside,” he said, noting that a long retaining wall will be built on that side to allow for the widening.

Because of the scope of the culvert installation and complexities associated with building retaining walls, a couple of road closures are being recommended, he said.

“We would like to get approval to close Harrison Street for a period of time to construct a retaining wall because we believe it’s in everyone’s best interest to get in and get it done,” he said.

Also, Lincoln Road at its intersection with SR 305 would need to be closed for two to three weeks as well, he said, as the contractor would be able to install the culverts on both sides of the highway in that time frame.

“During that time, 305 would operate as if there were no light(s) there,” he said.

While the Lincoln Road closure would require detours, the proposed detour during the Bond Road culvert replacement drew the most attention from council members.

Fuchs told the council the plan would be to close the road to one lane of travel over a couple of weekends to minimize the traffic impacts.

While traffic headed to Poulsbo from Kingston would be unaffected, drivers headed to Kingston from Poulsbo would be detoured up Lincoln to Port Gamble Road to Gunderson Road and back to Bond Road, Fuchs said.

“I have some questions on the bypass issue, because most people take Stottlemyer,” said Councilman Dale Rudolph.

The project could put additional strain on 4th Avenue, which is a favorite bypass of drivers avoiding SR 305 during peak commute times, Rudolph said.

“That traffic would go on to Torval Canyon and it’s bad now,” he said. “It’s going to be solid cars if we don’t discourage people from making that choice.”

The city has plans to install a traffic light at Caldart Avenue and Lincoln Road and that needs to be done before the project begins, Rudolph said.

“Just getting from Hostmark to Forest Rock Lane, people are going to go down Caldart and we’re going to have to do something drastic or we’ll all be going 10 miles per hour,” he added, emphasizing the need for traffic calming measures during the construction period.

Fuchs assured the council that the state will be working closely with the city to come up with alternate routes and a plan for advance notification of any possible road closures so drivers will be able to plan accordingly.

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