Traffic is a concern to Gig Harbor residents — especially with the addition of new developments and shopping centers such as the Olympic Towne Center off Olympic Drive.
To provide further information to the public, Emily Appleton, senior engineer for the city, provided an overview at Monday’s City Council meeting of the planned traffic mitigations to cope with this addition to Gig Harbor’s shopping options.
The development has been in the city’s pipeline model since the project was first submitted in 2008, with serious evaluations underway since July 2014, Appleton said.
The city coordinated with Pierce County and Washington State Department of Transportation to consider traffic impacts from state Route 16 and on county roads. The specific interchanges where additional traffic impact was considered were at the intersections of Pt. Fosdick Drive/Olympic Drive, 32nd Avenue/Olympic Drive and 56th street/Olympic Drive.
Preliminary mitigations from WSDOT was to add a double-right option at the eastbound off-ramp from state Route 16 to Olympic Drive to eliminate vehicle backup.
Planned improvements from the city include extending 32nd Avenue to Olympic Drive, to connect with the existing light at the intersection of Olympic Drive/50th Street near the Good to Go office, which will allow a back entrance option to Olympic Towne Center.
Other planned mitigations from the city are to add a right-turn-only lane onto Pt. Fosdick Drive from eastbound Olympic Drive, freeing up two middle lanes for traffic continuing forward onto the state Route 16 overpass.
Signal modifications at the Pt. Fosdick Drive/Olympic Drive will allow for more frequent left turn lanes from Pt. Fosdick Drive onto Olympic Drive, heading both east and west.
“There’s just a variety of different ways to get in there,” Appleton said. “I think people will find a way to get in there that will be their best secret way.”
Donkey Creek tree removal
A small works permit was approved for the removal of hazardous alder trees in Donkey Creek Park.
Public Works Director Jeff Langhelm said that a replanting and remitigation plan is in place with the planting of trees scheduled for later in the summer.
The trees were identified for removal because they are diseased and dangerous and present a danger of coming down on their own.
The contract was awarded to Ron’s Stump Removal and Tree Service. Work is estimated to begin 14 to 21 days from when the contract was issued, Langhelm said.
Chamber of Commerce video
Warren Zimmerman, president and CEO of the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce, presented the newest promotional video created by the chamber.
The video is designed to provide further information to businesses and individuals considering relocating their business to Gig Harbor.
“We’re really happy to show you this,” Zimmerman told the council. “We look at this as a tool to represent our community.”
He added that the video, as of Monday morning, had more than 3,000 views on the chamber’s website.
Boating Infrastructure Grant
Mayor Jill Guernsey updated the council on the city’s boating infrastructure grant application, currently in progress with the help of a consultant.
A public hearing and resolution on the grant is scheduled for the next City Council meeting on April 25.