Port awarded federal grant to help pay for SKIA connector

The Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration have awarded the Port of Bremerton $366,275 to cover 30 percent of the planning and design costs for the second segment of the South Kitsap Industrial Area connector.

Eventually, the road will stretch from Bremerton National Airport to Lake Flora Road, and the port plans to construct it in three phases.

This second section will go across 4,000 feet between Old Clifton Road and the port’s southeast property boundary, and the federal funding will cover 30 percent of the design costs.

“We’re very happy to receive these funds to move this road and the SKIA project closer to completion,” said Fred Salisbury, the port’s Airport Operations Director, who oversaw the first phase of the project and spearheaded the request for funding from KRCC and the PSRC.

“SKIA opens up almost 3,400 acres of development between private and port property owners,” he said. “Phase 2 will be the important link from Highway 3 to Old Clifton Road.”

The port has requested additional federal funding to cover the rest of the design and construction costs to complete the project.

“Moving forward with a project of this size isn’t possible without strong partners,” said Port CEO Cary Bozeman. “From the time the South Kitsap Industrial Area connector designation was imagined in 1990s to the reality of its construction today, it has always been about governments and private property owners working together to create more living-wage jobs for our citizens.”

The port hasn’t publicly laid out a timeline for the remainder of the project, and port spokeswoman Chris Case said construction will largely move forward at the rate it receives federal funds.

Phase 1, the 5,100-foot first segment of the road, funded by federal stimulus dollars in 2009, is nearing completion, and the port has planned a ribbon-cutting ceremony for it next month.

The first business to be served by this road, Defiance Boats, opened recently.

“This vital link between Bremerton and Port Orchard highways creates a whole new area for economic development,” Bozeman said. “As many as 9,000 new jobs could be located in SKIA by 2025.”

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