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Traffic Q&A: Why the beauty bark along SR 16?

Post by John Henrikson / The News Tribune on Oct. 22, 2010 at 11:43 am with 4 Comments »
October 22, 2010 11:43 am

From reporter Mike Archbold

Question: State Route 16 users may have been wondering about a landscaping project that’s been happening over the past month or so. Eric Dooley of Gig Harbor wrote in questioning the project:

“Is anyone else troubled that during a recession they are putting beauty bark on the side hills of Hwy 16 between 6th Ave and 19th?” he asked in an e-mail. “Is there no better way to spend money during economic hard times?”

Among others scratching their heads was state Rep. Larry Seaquist of Gig Harbor who asked the Washington State Department of Transportation why it was spreading mulch on the roadside along SR 16, an area that was hydro-seeded just three years ago.

Answer: According to WSDOT Olympic Region Administrator Kevin Dayton’s reply to Seaquist, WSDOT hydro-seeded this bare hillside as a temporary measure to provide necessary ground cover to prevent erosion and maintain water quality standards. The weeds and grasses that grew up over the last three years recently were treated with a herbicide to prepare the slopes for compost and bark mulch.

The comprehensive roadway landscape plan based on requirements of the January 2000 Environmental Impact Statement for the SR 16 corridor called for covering the hillside at a later date with compost and bark mulch that help ensure the survival of trees and shrubs, which will be planted beginning in November.

The landscaping project is funded by the 2003 nickel gas-tax package and is part of the larger corridor improvements, which started in 2002 with the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

In an e-mail to The News Tribune after hearing from Dayton, Seaquist said the work appears to be sound planning.

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. Perspicacious1 says:

    Well all that sounds like government gobblety gook…..when you’re broke, no matter what you had planned, you need to rethink spending. The grass was fine, the bark could have been postponed as could the trees that are planned for planting. The hillside was not washing away…..

    I would like to know the dollar amount being used on this. I am sure that money could be spent elsewhere and trees would be there in a couple more years. When is government going to learn how to NOT spend what they don’t have?

  2. omega629 says:

    Wow. youre an idiot. Maybe we should have waited until the hillside washed away… then you could have blamed them for that also. Where would you like the money spent??? Maybe Dennys Grand slam coupons??? Because only 65 year old woman would complain like this.

  3. Redcares says:

    And who is the idiot? anyone with half a wit would care what the DOT spends there money, I completely agree with Perspicacious1. Its not rocket science to understand that the funds should be used wisely. I am guessing omega, your the 69 year old lady for thinking this is a good idea in the times were in, or your a left wingnut.

  4. watts1875 says:

    Agrees with omega629.

    “NOT spend what they don’t have” They do have it from the nickel gas-tax package, I would pay a dime if they also used the money to replace the I5 Bridge in Vancouver/Portland.

    I fully support projects like this how many people do I meet who complain all day about traffic and the old single bridge on 16. Now people complain that it is getting fixed.

    Can’t make everyone happy but they are making me happy by getting things done on 16 to make the drive better.

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