Work continues on Highway 305 roundabout

Wonder why your wait at Highway 305 at Johnson Road was a little longer than usual last week? Or did the large crane give it away?

The crane was used to set tunnel segments, leading to the longer delays. The contractor also is installing stormwater infrastructure.

A roundabout is being constructed there to improve traffic flow and to provide safer access to Highway 305.

Also included is construction of a tunnel crossing to provide the only separated pedestrian and bicycle crossing of Highway 305. The tunnel will provide a connection between two major non-motorized routes that will provide over seven miles of safe, comfortable, ADA accessible and anxiety free bicycling, walking and running opportunities.

Upgraded transit stops near the roundabout and Rectangular Flashing Beacons will also provide safer transit access. A newly constructed road called Johnson Parkway will connect South Noll Road to the roundabout. Johnson Parkway will provide a safe connection between east and west for schools, neighborhoods and regional non-motorized networks.

A 14-foot wide shared use path is being built alongside Johnson Parkway, extending from Lemolo Shore Drive to the intersection of Noll Road. This path will provide a safe connection to schools, Lemolo Shore Drive and future regional Sound to Olympics trail.

Many people choose to live close to Poulsbo because of less expensive and more accessible housing that is also close to commercial and recreation amenities. This shared use path will provide improved connectivity for housing located in the area near the North Kitsap School District campus. It will also improve mobility options by providing a safe, all weather, illuminated bike and pedestrian path that connects to transit and other local centers.

Replacement of the final fish barrier on Bjorgen Creek with a 14-foot wide fish friendly box culvert will improve fish passage for a variety of salmon in North Kitsap County. Removing fish-passage blockages will restore the connectivity of Bjorgen Creek within its watershed. This will allow fish access to areas critical for fulfilling their life history requirements, especially foraging, spawning and rearing. Approximately 2,500 feet of stream habitat are potentially available upstream once the fish-passage blockage has been replaced.

The project also includes new roadside landscaping and public art that will welcome residents and visitors to the city of Poulsbo.

While construction is going on, the contractor is continuously maintaining two lanes of traffic on Highway 305. Delays caused by occasional periods of flagged traffic control should be expected. The construction zone will have a temporary speed reduction to 35 mph along Highway 305.

A roundabout was chosen because it reduces the potential for severe collisions, while improving connectivity and economic development opportunities along the corridor. Studies show they are safer than traditional stop sign or signal-controlled intersections. The Federal Highway Administration has determined that roundabouts increase traffic capacity by 30 percent to 50 percent compared with traditional intersections.

Construction on the $15.32 million project started in January and is expected to take 1 1/2 years. About $5 million comes from a Connecting Washington grant, $3.4 million in federal transportation funds; $2.2 million from an Surface Transportation Block grant, $1.5 million from a Transportation Improvement Board grant and another $1.35 million grant.

<em>Rendition of the Highway 305 roundabout.</em>

Rendition of the Highway 305 roundabout.