Three culvert projects in gear for North Kitsap roadways

POULSBO — Stottlemeyer Road will be closed for nearly two weeks while Kitsap County crews replace a non-functioning culvert with one of a newer design. The road will be closed July 19-30.

Also this month, the Washington State Department of Transportation will begin replacing two culverts beneath State Route 305 in the Johnson Road area. That project is expected to create only minimal traffic delays, and will continue until October.

Stottlemeyer will be closed between Iverson Road and Milky Way Lane while crews replace an existing 24-inch culvert with a much larger, elliptical pipe. The new pipe, 71 inches tall and 107 inches wide, is oval-shaped, which is typical for many fish passage upgrades, said Don Schultz, Kitsap County Road Superintendent.

"Fish can't get up the existing culvert because there's too much vertical elevation change," he said. The new culvert will reach the existing bed of Dogfish Creek's north fork, allowing fish to pass through it. The project has a price tag of roughly $90,000, Schultz added.

The Department of Transportation is cautioning drivers there may be 15-minute closures of State Route 305 next week while trees and brush are removed to allow access for crews replacing culverts at Bjorgan and Lemolo creeks. Once access is created, most work will be done 40 feet below highway level and will have a minimal impact on traffic, said Joe Irwin, Department of Transportation Communications.

Frank Coluccio Construction will use a technique called pipe jacking to replace existing culverts with a 10-foot culvert and a 12-foot culvert that are expected to improve migratory fish use. The bottom of those culverts will be five feet below the natural level of the stream bed, where crews will place bed gravel and rock to simulate natural beds. Each stream bed will also be regraded upstream and downstream from the culverts to protect spawning grounds when water volumes increase during storms.

The technique of pipe jacking was chosen because it allows the state to do the work without disrupting traffic. Last year, Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson and others from the city of Poulsbo and Kitsap County worked with the Department of Transportation to keep the project from shutting down State Route 305, as was originally planned.

The project costs $3.8 million, with funding coming from a 2005 gas tax, as well as other state and federal dollars. Crews have been onsite at the project since July 12.

The city of Poulsbo is repaving Mesford Street near the North Kitsap School District sports fields. The road is open to one-way alternating traffic. The project began in June and will continue through August. Parallel parking and sidewalks are also being added. The project's $335,973 price tag is funded by the Department of Transportation, the city of Poulsbo and the school district. The city previously built sidewalks along Caldart Avenue, and next year will place sidewalks along Noll Road and Hostmark Street near Poulsbo Elementary and Poulsbo Middle School, all to increase safety near schools, said city engineer Andrzej Kasiniak.

County crews are also working on a stormwater conveyance system on Cliffside Road, from Hood Canal Drive to Little Boston Road. Traffic is alternated one-way, and drivers can expect delays of up to 15 minutes. The work, which also includes roadway excavation and embankment construction, is expected to continue until November. More information on the county's roadway projects can be found online.

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