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Rain and mud mire progress at Kingston High site

KINGSTON — The unrelenting rains that came in November and December have complicated construction at the Kingston High School site. But as the rain has lessened dramatically, the North Kitsap School District’s contractor Wick Constructors is starting to get it all soaked up.

Kitsap County officials issued a stop work order for the site Jan. 13 as erosion control became problematic and showed the potential for environmental concern, said Kitsap County development engineering spokesman Jeff Rowe-Hornbaker.

“(Conditions) began leading in a direction where the outcome was not going to be pleasant,” Rowe-Hornbaker said of the concerns. “It wasn’t a crisis, it was something that everyone was experiencing.”

At the site, a few erosion control issues needed to be quelled. Some areas of bare earth had not been covered and were in effect being continually disturbed by rainfall. Meanwhile, the site’s detention ponds were also nearing capacity, threatening an overflow.

“It’s looking a lot better,” Rowe-Hornbaker said Wednesday. “Now, they are proceeding back with regular functions.”

Wick and the subcontractor in control of earthwork, JSB Contractors, went to work on erosion control matters during the week of Jan. 13-21. They utilized straw-blasting cannons to cover the remaining portions of bare earth at the site and reinforced both straw and gravel trenches to reduce soil erosion.

The straw will act as a sponge, provided that dry periods continue to be interspersed with the rainfall, Rowe-Hornbaker said. And, in effect, it should decrease the amount of runoff in the site’s stormwater detention ponds.

“The detention ponds were also getting full, so (Wick) had to come up with a safe way to de-water them,” Rowe-Hornbaker

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