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Lynwood Center Road reopens -- News Roundup

Lynwood Center Road -- both lanes, no less -- reopened to traffic Tuesday afternoon.

City public works officials announced in a new release that Ace Paving crews put down two “lifts” of asphalt on the stretch near Emerald Way, and the road was opened. All that remained was installation of a guardrail on Wednesday; the road was to remain open during that work, although flaggers were likely.

Tuesday’s paving was completed despite the late arrival of asphalt, which delayed work for several hours.

The road has been closed for more than four weeks for installation of a retaining wall and extensive reconstruction. Slides last winter eroded the road bed near the Emerald Way intersection, with one lane closed from January until reconstruction began last month.

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***Winslow Way meeting set

Public works officials will unveil three possible designs for the Winslow Way/Ericksen Avenue/ Bjune Drive intersection at a public meeting next week.

Also to be unveiled are “50 percent designs” for Ericksen Avenue, showing how sidewalks and other improvements there will mesh with neighboring properties, significant trees and other features.

Public comment on both projects will be taken, and incorporated into the designs.

The Bainbridge Island City Council has yet to consider the Winslow/Ericksen intersection redesign, while the Ericksen sidewalks have already been approved in concept and are expected to be completed next spring.

The meeting will run 4:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 in the council chambers. Written comment will also be taken.

Information: 842-2016.

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***Transit to buy ‘clean’ buses

Within the next few years, commuters won’t be choking on dark smoke plumes emitting from Kitsap Transit buses.

Instead, they will be treated to cleaner running machines, according to agency officials.

The Kitsap Transit Board of Commissioners has OK’d the purchase of up to 30 new, full-size, low-floor, “clean diesel” buses in 2004 for about $8.6 million.

“We’re really happy with it because we waited just long enough for improvements in diesel engine technologies,” said Kitsap Transit Executive Director Richard Hayes. “These have much lower emissions.

“In the coming years, you won’t see any smoke from any of our buses.”

The buses will be purchased using a combination of local and federal dollars, according to officials. Kitsap Transit is expected to pay at the actual point of delivery, set for mid-2004.

“Our goal is that by the end of 2004, we will have reduced emissions by 90 percent,” said Colby Swanson, director of vehicle maintenance for Kitsap Transit. “We will do that by retiring older buses, retrofitting (other) buses and (part of) our regular fleet and introduce 50 new buses.”

This more recent commitment to purchase 30 new buses follows a similar purchase of 18 clean diesel suburban-style buses and two low-floor, clean diesel buses.

That contract cost just under $6 million. The “suburbans” are to be used on the north end of Kitsap County, such as on the route from Poulsbo to the Bainbridge ferry terminal, while the low-floor buses will be used in the central and south-end routes.

Other plans include retrofitting older 1980s-era buses with catalytic converters and installing them in the worker-driver program. Buses dating to the 1970s will be retired.

Swanson said the retrofit is expected to be paid for using grants from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and local dollars.

“The biggest difference between standard diesel and clean diesel is that the major portion of sulfur in the fuel is eliminated,” Swanson said. “It’s that sulfur that creates that particulate matter. It’s unburned fuel, basically.”

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