Poulsbo neighborhoods to see road improvements this summer

Some Poulsbo neighborhoods will see some improvements to their roads and streets this summer as part of the city of Poulsbo’s streets preservation project.

The neighborhoods likely to see improvements are Alasund Meadows, Applewood Estates, Austerbruin, Deer Run, Kevos Pond, Meredith Heights, Thistle Court, Whitney’s Glen and Wilderness View. Those neighborhoods have been identified as ones whose roads are structurally sound but could use some improvement through seal coating to preserve them for up to 10 years.

“Back in 2016 the city did a pavement condition survey of the whole town and rated our roads and after that, the council gave us about $150,000 a year for neighborhood streets preservation,” Public Works superintendent Mike Lund said.

Survey results show that about six miles of roads in Poulsbo were in good condition, 10.5 miles were in fair condition, 15 in poor condition and 12 in failing condition. Of the roads surveyed 3/4 of them were neighborhood streets. Lund stated that the focus of this year’s project will be on seal coating roads 15 years or older but in overall good shape, while recognizing that the roads in poor and failing condition need attention.

“Part of preservation is spending money upfront. We try to keep our roads up in good or fair condition, keep the fair roads from dropping down to poor and try to move the poor roads up to the fair condition. The very poor and failed, you know we’re not really focusing on them right now. We know they’re there, we’re doing what we can to keep them where they’re at and not let them get much worse. We’re trying to save for what we can right now,” Lund said.

The city does not have enough funding sources to improve neighborhood streets. In the past, the funding for serious road improvement has come from the state or from private projects, such as residential or commercial development. When it comes to state and federal grants they are only for streets that are major arterial roads.

“It’s very difficult to find outside money for these road repairs. The normal funding sources are geared more towards larger arterials and not places like 10th Avenue, 7th Avenue etc,” Mayor Becky Erickson said.

Seal coating is one of the most affordable road improvement projects for cities as long as their roads are structurally sound. Seal coating protects asphalt-based pavements and roadways from the elements and can preserve road conditions. “The more we spend on preservation, the less we have to spend on rebuilding roads,” Lund said.

The upcoming project will cover just over three miles of road and cost $305,000. The city has budgeted $396,000. Other methods that were considered were chip sealing, which would cost about $ 655,000, as well as a road overlay, which would cost about $1.4 million. “This is the start of a long-term maintenance plan,” Lund said.

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