Hardluck highway reopens

"Well, it's official.As of this Wednesday evening, the state Department of Transportation reopened State Route 166 at Ross Point, and officials confirmed commuters won't have to deal with total closures again any time soon.Olympia-based DLB Earthwork Construction crews on Sept. 6 completed a three-week, $600,000 project that called for buttressing with rocks the hillside at Ross Point and installing 11 water drains along the slope to prevent future slides.State project engineer Amity Trowbridge confirmed this week the highway was reopened to the thousands of commuters who daily travel the thoroughfare.The project is substantially complete, she said. There is a piece of pavement that requires repair, and we need to do some restriping.Aside from the cosmetic fixes required, the road is open for travel, she said.Over the last few years, the state, with help from federal matching grants, has worked to make stable a hillside notorious for winter slide disasters. As the third installment of this overall effort, this year's effort called for buttressing the unstable hillside on State Route166 facing Sinclair Inlet between Ross Point Creek and downtown Port Orchard. This particular project's effectiveness, however, may not be fully known until this winter, when stormier, wetter weather batters the hillside.State officials originally expected DLB Earthwork Construction crews to complete the three-week long project Sept. 2 But because of one particularly rainy weekend in mid-August, crews couldn't work effectively for two days. So officials later transferred those two unused work days, taking them beyond the original Sept. 2 completion date. Because of Labor Day and the previous Sunday, crews finished off the job this last Tuesday and Wednesday. "

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