The City of Bremerton Public Works Operations division maintains 298 lane miles of streets and operates over 40 City-owned traffic signals. City crews install and maintain street infrastructure, traffic signs and signals, and street lights within the city, in addition to the OptiCom system, which allows emergency and transit vehicles to control traffic signal changes. All traffic signals have detectors to indicate when there is traffic. This data is transmitted to a controller that determines what signal sequence will move the traffic most efficiently. Signals are often coordinated with others, forming traffic corridors. Examples of traffic corridors are 11th Street, Kitsap Way and SR 304. You may find it quicker to move through town by using these routes.
Conditions of Bremerton streets have been on the decline since the 2001 passing of Initiative 747. This initiative left street maintenance without a funding source. Further decline came in 2009 with the passing of Initiative 690 and defeat of the proposed $30 car tab fee ballot measure. The City of Bremerton would like to provide needed street improvements, but critical budget shortage and lack of support from voters for a dedicated street funding source prevent this work from being performed. In the meantime, City crews will do what they can; however, road conditions will continue to deteriorate until the funding situation improves.
The Public Works Operations division is made up of three sections: streets, signs and electronics. Each section handles a wide variety of responsibilities.
Street staff maintains and repairs 298 lane miles of City streets. This includes pothole repairs; street surface restoration after repairs to water and sewer systems; removal, mowing and trimming of vegetation encroaching on the right-of-way; disposal of debris dumped along the right-of-way; and maintenance of road shoulders in areas without curbs. Pothole patching and utility repairs are carried out year-round (winter weather permitting).
During extreme cold weather and snow storm events, Street staff are responsible for applying an anti-icing agent, salt brine, to streets as well as sand for traction. The removal of snow maintains proper thorough ways. Staff work in 12 hour shifts to maintain roads continuously during these times.
Sign shop staff is responsible for maintenance, repair and preservation of over 7,700 signs, crosswalks, lane markings and pavement markers on City right-of-ways. Life safety signs are the focus of the sign shop. Staff also installs event banners.
Electronics staff performs maintenance, upgrades and installation of all City electrical, phone and radio systems as well as operation of over 40 City-owned traffic signals. Traffic signal scheduled maintenance includes testing and verifying electrical components, yearly lamp changes, LED fixture installation and upgrading and maintenance of the OptiCom system for emergency vehicle and transit bus use. Electronics staff are on call 24 hours per day to handle emergencies (usually traffic collisions that involve hitting a street light, traffic signal or electrical service cabinet).
Electronics staff also reviews plans and inspects new lighting systems. The City owns and maintains about 500 street lights and lighting in the 4th Street parking garage, convention center parking garage and all Parks & Recreation facilities. They supply electrical support to community events such as the Blackberry Festival and to holiday displays. Staff also maintain electrical and alarm systems for the water system.