BREMERTON — The bottleneck on State Route 3, between Bremerton and Gorst, is about to get fixed, according to Washington State Department of Transportation.
“What we’re going to do is, we’ll use the existing highway’s footprint, and we’re going to extend the second lane of SR 3 … for about a mile,” said WSDOT spokesperson Doug Adamson. “This will provide congestion relief for drivers in the area.”
This project will also impact drivers coming from West Bremerton, using State Route 304/Charleston Boulevard.
“Currently, drivers have their own lane,” Adamson said. “Under this new configuration, drivers will merge with State Route 3 and no longer have their own lane.”
What currently turns into the right lane of southbound SR 3 will turn into a traditional, albeit “very long” on-ramp.
Adamson said the project was funded at $4 million, but “we expect to realize cost savings as part of the design and construction.”
According to the WSDOT website, there were a few alternatives considered, including adding a third lane from the SR 304 onramp to Gorst, but Adamson said the design is complete, using the above-mentioned plan.
WSDOT is currently planning to go to the competitive bidding process in April; Adamson said they “expect to award it to a private contractor coming in the summer.”
“It will start this summer, probably around mid-July,” Adamson said. “Then will be complete during fall.”
Impact to traffic, he said, should be minimal.
“We’ll keep traffic moving by doing a lot of the work at night,” he said. “We’ll have single lane closures, we’ll have a few detours as we close ramps through there, but that’s done at night.”
He added that while construction is going on, drivers should “really be attentive,” leave extra distance between the car in front of you and your own car, drive slowly and try to merge before reaching the construction zones.
Another aspect of the construction will be installing traffic cameras at the SR 304 and Loxie Eagans on-ramps; traffic conditions for that area will be available online.
“We encourage people to look at traffic cameras, flow maps, travel alerts,” Adamson said. “We have a robust web page that has live, updated information about road closures. Drivers, before they go (can and should be) armed with good information. With traffic cameras, you’re able to get real-time images.”
For more information about this project, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects.
Michelle Beahm is a reporter with the Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at email@example.com.