Construction could start in March on Kitsap Transit park-and-ride

Kitsap Transit has long desired to plant a transit center in Poulsbo that would link commutes throughout the region. That desire will soon be a reality.

POULSBO — Kitsap Transit has long desired to plant a transit center in Poulsbo that would link commutes throughout the region. That desire will soon be a reality.

“As we all know, (Highway) 305 has high quantities of traffic passing through Poulsbo and through communities on the way to the Bainbridge Island ferry,” said Steffani Lillie, service and capital development director of Kitsap Transit.

“We are hoping the park-and-ride location here will collect a good number of commuters, get them on the bus, and reduce traffic and congestion through the 305 corridor,” she said.

A park-and-ride facility is planned at the north end of Poulsbo off of Vetter Road, near a crossroads between Highway 3 and Highway 305.

City permits have been filed, and Kitsap Transit has awarded a contract to Ceccanti, Inc. of Tacoma. Construction on the park-and-ride facility could begin as soon as March, Lillie said, and could last between 15-18 months.

The entire project is more than the park-and-ride portion that will anchor the site. Ceccanti may also be awarded contracts to build a fueling station, and a washing facility for buses. Kitsap Transit has an office already located at the site, which will be incorporated into the overall plan.

The price tag for the park-and-ride comes in at $9,398,730. The washing and fueling portion will add to that cost, which has come in higher than expected. “The whole bid came in at $2 million more than we expected,” Lillie said, noting that transit officials are searching for other funding sources, from fuel savings to a possible bond. Funding options will be brought to the Kitsap Transit board in March.

The new facility is slated for 21709 Vetter Road NW. The park-and-ride — holding up to 265 cars — will be on 4.97 acres along with the bus transfer station. A daily total of 53 buses will be stored on another 3.7 acres with a fueling and bus-washing facility. Kitsap Transit’s 4,000-square-foot office building is located on another 3.16 acres.

The construction effort will include clearing, grading, pulverizing and removing asphalt concrete, and then installing asphalt pavement, gutters, curbs, sidewalks, ramps, stormwater treatment and drainage, landscaping, illumination and surveillance systems, erosion control measures and bus shelters.

Kitsap Transit will host a meeting for neighbors of the construction site. A date has not been set for the meeting, but a notice will be mailed, Lillie said.

The north Poulsbo locale was eyed because its position near Highway 305 and Highway 3. It is convenient for transfers with Jefferson County, according to a memo from Kitsap Transit. It will provide direct service to the ferry terminal on Bainbridge Island, a commute that is on the Department of Transportation’s list of bottlenecks because lack of capacity, causing speed reductions, according to the memo.

“Looking at all the park and rides in Poulsbo, they are all quite full,” Lillie said. “They are showing more use. By opening a larger park-and-ride with a transfer center, it will make it easier on the road.”