SILVERDALE – Kitsap Transit is moving ahead with construction on its new Silverdale Transit Center off Ridgetop Boulevard.
The agency’s board signed off on an $8.2 million construction bid for the project earlier this month. SCI Infrastructure LLC, based out of SeaTac, won the contract to build the new bus facility, which will go in off the southbound ramp to Highway 303 off Ridgetop Boulevard, across the street from St. Michael Medical Center.
Kitsap Transit Executive Director John Clauson said he expected that construction will begin in the early spring. Work will likely take a year or longer, he said.
“We're excited, we're ready to get moving on it,” he said. “It really is going to be a first-class, state-of-the-art facility for our riders as opposed to what we’re doing now.”
The new center will eventually replace the transit center at The Trails at Silverdale shopping center, a humble dead-end turnaround with small shelters. After having to leave its space at the Kitsap Mall, Kitsap Transit eventually had a site built at The Trails in 2001 while it identified a new location for a transit center.
The new center will have bus bays, shelter areas for riders and a comfort station for bus drivers. The location near the St. Michael Medical Center campus and Highway 303 made it an attractive site, Clauson said.
“We’re excited," he said, "to start shoveling some dirt out there."
Bus lines from Bremerton and Poulsbo will connect at the center, as will local Silverdale service, Clauson said.
To get on Highway 303, buses won’t have to loop back down Sid Uhinck Drive to get back to Ridgetop Boulevard and will instead have a dedicated connection to the southbound on-ramp to the highway.
"It should provide not only advantages to the operation, but in addition, for our riders, this is going to be a facility that will provide much greater shelter from the elements for people to be able to transfer from bus to the next,” Clauson said. “It will give them more of a dedicated space for pedestrian access. There's not going to be really any other vehicles in that center other than transit buses, so it’s going to be ultimately safer.”
Nathan Pilling is a reporter covering Bainbridge Island, North Kitsap and Washington State Ferries for the Kitsap Sun. He can be reached at 360-792-5242, email@example.com or on Twitter at @KSNatePilling.
Consider supporting local journalism in Kitsap County: Sign up for a digital subscription today.
This article originally appeared on Kitsap Sun: Work set to begin on new Kitsap Transit bus center in Silverdale