WSDOT Lowers Speed Limit On US 12 Near Rochester

Drivers will see a permanently reduced speed limit along a three-mile section of US 12 between Grand Mound and Rochester. Crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation installed new speed limit signs along the highway on Wednesday, Dec. 11.

The reduced speed limit occurs on US 12 from mileposts 42.9 to 46.1, approximately between Roseburg Street Southwest and Old Highway 99 in Grand Mound. The 55 mph speed limit in that area has been reduced to 50 mph, effective immediately.   

In addition, yesterday crews installed new 45 mph advisory speed limit signs near the intersections of US 12 and Denmark and Pecan Streets Southwest.

Rumble strips were also installed in both directions of US 12 near Pecan and Denmark Streets. Rumble strips are grooves in the roadway that produce noise and vibration when vehicle tires contact them. The noise and vibrations produced by the rumble strips are intended to alert inattentive drivers to the upcoming intersections.   

WSDOT reduced the speed limit after community requests prompted a safety analysis and speed study of that section of highway. WSDOT urges motorists to abide by the revised, posted speed limit.

Bridge Construction Reduces I-5 To A Single Lane Dec. 16

Girder setting for a new couplet bridge over Interstate 5 near Mellen Street will reduce the interstate to a single lane in each direction for six hours, starting at 10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16.

Five 152-foot-long concrete girders arrive by truck Monday night. The trucks will park in the closed left lanes on both directions of I-5 just south of Mellen Street. Two cranes working from each side of the interstate will pick up the girders and set them in place over the lanes of I-5.

“It’s never ideal to take I-5 down to a single lane, but with the method we’re using to build this bridge, it’s the only way we can set these long girders,” said Washington State Department of Transportation Project Engineer Colin Newell. “The work is being done late at night, which will help keep backups from getting too bad.”

Crews will also slow drivers on I-5 periodically to create gaps in traffic and keep drivers from being under the girders while they’re being set. Drivers should expect congestion in the area and are encouraged to consider alternate routes if they enter or exit I-5 at Mellen Street.

Girder setting is a major milestone in bridge construction. Once girders are set and secured, crews will start building the 154-foot-long, 43-foot-wide bridge deck. They will first build a wooden support structure around the deck, then place and tie together mats of steel rebar and pour concrete to form the driving surface.

Once the bridge is complete, crews will build the ramps and connecting roadways, and reconfigure the existing Mellen Street intersection. When the couplet is complete in late 2014, traffic will move in a counter-clockwise direction, improving traffic flow in the historically congested Mellen Street area.

WSDOT is overhauling 4 miles of I-5 in Centralia. The I-5 Mellen Street to Blakeslee Junction project constructs new collector-distributor lanes, a couplet system at Mellen Street, safety improvements north of Blakeslee Junction, congestion relief at the Mellen Street and Harrison Avenue interchanges, and a new local travel option via the Louisiana Avenue-Airport Road connection.

The project is funded through the 2005 gas tax and is the last in an eight-year-long, $168 million effort to improve safety and congestion on I-5 in Lewis and south Thurston counties.

Kitsap County: Holiday Changes to Solid and Household Hazardous Waste Facilities and Services

The holidays will cause some changes to garbage pick-up schedules, recycling and garbage facilities, and household hazardous waste drop-off collection. The Kitsap County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Facility is closed the week of December 23rd for maintenance and reopens Thursday, January 2nd. The Recycling and Garbage Facilities at Bainbridge Island, Silverdale, Hansville and Olalla, and the Poulsbo Recycle Center are closed Christmas and New Year’s Day. Additionally, all facilities normally open Tuesday will close at 2:00 pm on December 24th and December 31st. The Olympic View Transfer Station is closed Christmas and New Year’s Day, and closes at 3:00 pm on December 24th and 4:00 pm on December 31st. Waste Management and Bainbridge Disposal do not provide service on Christmas or New Year’s Day. Pick up will be one day later for the remainder of the week. The City of Poulsbo garbage and recycling pick-ups will continue on their regular schedule throughout the holidays.

For more information call Kitsap 1 at 360-337-5777.

Public Comment Sought On State Game Management Plan

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is conducting a public opinion survey to help identify key wildlife issues to be addressed in the department’s 2015-2021 Game Management Plan.

The information gathered from the survey will help WDFW update its current plan, originally developed in 2003 and updated in 2009. The plan guides the long-term management of game species, and is used to develop three-year hunting packages that set annual regulations for hunting seasons.

The survey is available through Jan. 3 on WDFW’s website. Paper copies of the survey also are available by contacting the Wildlife Program at (360) 902-2515.

“The public’s involvement is essential in creating a comprehensive and effective game management plan,” said Dave Ware, WDFW game division manager. “We look forward to hearing from people as we go about updating this plan that will guide game management priorities.”

The opinion survey addresses a number of game management issues, including:

•    Hunter recruitment and retention
•    Hunting regulations
•    Land access for hunting
•    Wildlife conflict
•    Habitat enhancement
•    Questions directed at specific species

Once the survey results are analyzed, WDFW will incorporate them into a draft plan, which will go out for public comment next spring. The plan will be considered for final approval by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission next summer.