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Woodland utility work put on hold

"Road work scheduled to begin this week at the intersection of Ferncliff Avenue and High School Road has been postponed indefinitely, according to Dave Nelson of the city public works department.The work would have included extension of city sewer lines north on Ferncliff, to serve the proposed Woodland Village development.Public works officials said that Woodland Village developer Doug Nelson elected to defer the work, possibly pending resolution of a court challenge to the size of the development.Developer Nelson could not be reached for comment Tuesday. The East Central Bainbridge Island Community Association has gone to Kitsap County Superior Court to challenge the city's approval of 30 homes on the 9.4-acre parcel. They contend that the development, if permitted, should be limited to no more than 23 homes.A hearing on that challenge has been scheduled for Dec. 4.The timing of the work is of particular concern because reconstruction has turned Winslow Way East into a one-way street at the ferry terminal.All traffic leaving the terminal is funneled north on Ferncliff, turning the four-way stop at Ferncliff and High School into a major point of congestion, especially during the evening commute.I've gotten a lot of calls about that over the weekend, city council chair Merrill Robison said. I have asked that the city do what it can to postpone the project.What the city can do is limited, according to city Administrator Lynn Nordby said Monday.Developers have the right to install their utilities, he said, and they need to be able to do it on their own schedule, when their contractors are available.Dave Nelson said the work would have impacted Ferncliff south of High School for only two to three days. Neither the street nor the intersection would be closed, although there would be periods of one-way traffic.We have been working with them on the hours, he said, adding that he had proposed that work not begin until 7:30 or 8 a.m. and that it conclude by 3:30 or 4 p.m.The work on Ferncliff north of High School will be more extensive, and will require two to three weeks, Nelson estimated. That work, he said, may involve periodic road closures. "

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