By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
Want more top stories? Sign up here for daily or weekly newsletters with our top news.
The three commissioners Tuesday initiated a federally funded project to add gravel shoulders to the two-lane road between Woodcock and Lotzgesell roads.
Additionally, a left-turn lane will be added to southbound Kitchen-Dick Road at the Woodcock intersection about 2 miles north of U.S. Highway 101.
The $612,783 project is scheduled to be completed in November.
Area resident Helen McCammon thanked commissioners for initiating the safety project, an administrative step that precedes the bidding process.
McCammon, who has pitched the project for years, said the narrow shoulders present a “dangerous situation.”
“I really appreciate having this done,” she said.
“I have to say that [state Rep. and former Clallam County Commissioner] Steve Tharinger was really instrumental in helping put this on the agenda.”
Tharinger represents the 24th District, which includes Clallam County.
After the meeting, McCammon said the road’s shoulders, which will be widened to 6 feet from about 1 foot, create a safety hazard for people walking their children or pets, particularly during the winter.
“On rainy days, you’d get all that back spray by RVs going into the air,” McCammon said.
County Engineer Ross Tyler said he received three pages of signatures from citizens concerned about Kitchen-Dick Road at a road department forum in Sequim last year.
Tyler said the next project for Kitchen-Dick Road will be to replace the 90-degree turn at its north end with a “nice, sweeping corner.”
Meanwhile, on the south end of the arterial west of Sequim, a state Department of Transportation contractor is installing a pedestrian tunnel below U.S. Highway 101 for Clallam Transit bus passengers.
The contractor, Scarsella Bros. Inc. of Kent, is six months into a two-year project to widen the U.S. highway from two lanes to four between Kitchen-Dick and Shore roads.
‘A lot of negotiating’
“Yours is one of the few intersections with a county road and the Highway 101 widening to have a safe pedestrian crossing underneath for kids on bikes or whatever,” Commissioner Mike Doherty told McCammon.
“It took a lot of negotiating between the road department and the regional DOT, and then Scarsella was fairly friendly to the change once the bid was awarded.
“So your neighborhood will benefit by that.”
Doherty added that Clallam Transit invested in the East Owl Creek tunnel “so people at both of those bus stops can come and go safely at that intersection.”
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.