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City Council OKs 6-Year TIP; Bethel Corridor on ‘wish list’

By DANNIE OLIVEAUX
Port Orchard Independent Editor
July 5, 2013 · Updated 2:46 PM
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The City Council adopted a Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) that include widening part of Tremont Street, Bay Street pathway and improvements to the Anderson Hill/Old CliftonRoad intersection.

The TIP covers projects from 2014 to 2019.

Each year, cities must submit their TIP according to Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements.

At the June 25 meeting, Public Works Director Mark Dorsey said the City created a two-tier system for the TIP. He said Tier 1 projects will be submitted to the WSDOT and Tier 2 items are on an in-house list.

The TIP’s Tier 1 projects include the widening of a more than one-half mile section of Tremont Street from State Route 16 to Port Orchard Boulevard, which would cost an estimated $20.8 million — $15 million funded from the state. There is $10 million budget in 2015 and $5 million the following year.

Second on the Tier 1 list is replacing a wooden span with a culvert under Bay Street at Arnold Creek, costing an estimated $300,000 which is budgeted for 2019.

Another project is the Bay Street Pedestrian Pathway in which guardrails would be installed, and improve streets and sidewalks from downtown to the Annapolis Foot Ferry Terminal. There is $3 million in federal funding for the project.

Also, the TIP has $450,000 ($150,000 budgeted in 2015, 2017 and 2019) for repairing and replacing existing paving in residential areas and $60,000 ($10,000 budgeted each year) for repairing and replacing sidewalks.

The sixth and final project on the Tier 1 list is improvements to the Anderson Hill/Old Clifton Road intersection. There is $400,000 in local funds for the project —$100,000 budgeted in 2014 and the remainder in 2015.

“With the recent restart of a development that is actually in the City of Bremerton on Anderson Hill, that (project) will probably move forward,” Dorsey explained.

Dorsey said the City has funding for the project through the McCormick Traffic Impact fees for specific improvement of the McCormick Urban Village.

Dorsey said federal and state funding is available on a competitive basis and the City has to look at innovative ways for funding transportation shortfalls, such as forming a Local Improvement District (LID), which residents could tax themselves to do improvements or Transportation Benefit Districts.

During a public hearing on TIP, City Council candidate Bek Ashby asked why the Bethel Corridor project wasn’t on the Tier 1 list.

“There is nothing on Bethel on here and personally I would like to see planning starting on the Bethel Corridor,” Ashby said.

Dorsey told Ashby why the Bethel Corridor project can’t be on the Tier 1 list, but is on the Tier 2 list is because it’s a $42-million project.

“Last year, every jurisdiction was interpreting the TIP differently,” Dorsey said. “The end result was that the City and other jurisdictions coming into compliance with the financially strained requirements. Therefore, the Tier 2 is the ‘bigger wish list’ and the Tier 1 has the financial constraints.”

As for the Bethel Corridor, Dorsey said his department is working on interim repairs on Bethel Corridor for 2013 and 2014.

He said the original design prepared for the corridor needs to be reviewed to see if it’s the appropriate method to go for a $42-million project because of the new rules and regulations for federal funding of transportation projects.

“We’d like to look at the design in 2015 and break the project into smaller pieces,” Dorsey said. “We do have a plan in place, but unfortunately there were certain promises that where not as realistic.”

Resident Gil Michael said earlier this year, some citizens — whose properties abut Prospect Alley — sent a letter to City staff and they received a reply that it would be on the TIP.

“Prospect is an alley and it doesn’t meet the qualifications (for a road or street),” Dorsey said. “It would be a budget item.”

Dorsey said any work on the alley would include utilities and street repairs.

“It needs to be weighed out for those few citizens because other streets have a lot more traffic,” he said.

 

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