Poulsbo leaders are concerned about four injury accidents since June, including one fatal, at the Highway 305/Johnson Parkway roundabout project.
The most recent one on New Year’s Eve killed a 50-year-old woman, leading to vehicular homicide charges against a woman who was also arrested for DUI.
Mayor Becky Erickson and members of the city engineering department addressed the safety concerns at last week’s City Council meeting.
“Even though the accident was outside our work zone, it’s really important that people slow down when they go through construction projects,” said Diane Lenius, director of engineering.
City engineer Josh Raines said after the fatality the department took another look at how traffic control is set up, along with the safety barriers there. Additionally, the state Department of Transportation revisited the site. “I’m glad to report that everything that’s out there is in accordance with our approved traffic control plan,” Raines said. “That is something we will continue monitoring.”
Erickson added that the construction of roundabouts on 305 is not going away as there are ones also scheduled for Totten and Seminole roads. She has asked Poulsbo police chief Ron Harding to put together an emphasis control with help from other agencies for safe driving through the roundabout. “We are going to be working on this road for a very long time,” Erickson said. “It’s really imperative that we have really good traffic inspection by law enforcement to make sure that speeds are down…”
Lenius and Raines also provided an update on the roundabout, stating that work has decreased due to winter weather, which is expected. “The project is progressing,” Raines said. “We are working as can be expected in these kinds of conditions as the contractors reduce the number of crews out there just to limit the disturbance.”
He added the cast and place wall was recently finished, and the section of wall near the roundabout got some random board finish that will tie into the art decorative wall that will be built in coming months. Crews are focused on installing water mains and finalizing design and pricing for security cameras in the tunnel.
“We’re not where we’d hope to be in terms of schedule but we are currently still on the original scheduled path of eighteen months,” Raines said, adding it should be done this summer.
In a related matter, Erickson noted that Kitsap Transit dedicated $1.5 million for a new multi-modal park and ride at Johnson Parkway.
“This is just the first step,” she said. “These park and rides cost a lot more than $1.5 million but they want to buy the land and get it tied up now. It will be a place for people to park their cars but it will also have facilities for bicycles, and of course, the Johnson area has those huge new walking pathways.”