Current, Completed and Possible Coming KP Road Improvements


Improving the roads should mean improving traffic, eventually. Photo: David Zeigler, KP News

State Route 302 Work Underway

What could be a nearly year-long, multi-phase project is underway on State Route 302 between Elgin-Clifton Road and 118th Avenue NW. Washington State Dept. of Transportation crews have begun clearing vegetation and creating a work zone to build a two-lane bypass. Crews will then replace one bridge and two fish-blocking culverts over Minter Creek and Little Minter Creek. Work will continue east on SR-302 as crews repave parts of the roadway and install sidewalks in Wauna. The Purdy Spit Bridge will have new decking installed next summer, according to WSDOT.

Drivers should expect weekday daytime lane and shoulder closures as work progresses.

Shoulder Work South of Key Center

The existing shoulder of an approximately 1.8-mile section of Key Peninsula Highway NW from 88th Street NW to 59th Street NW is being replaced and repaved to a consistent width of 6 feet. Any affected driveways and drainage ditches will be rebuilt. The month-long project began September 9.

The new shoulder will be constructed for pedestrian use to the maximum extent feasible, according to Pierce County, but will not include curbs or sidewalks.

Work will be done Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The highway may be reduced to one lane during work hours. Motorists should expect delays.

The work will cost approximately $557,000, and is funded with county road funds.

New Intersection Near Lakebay Marina

Pierce County is scheduled to reconfigure the intersection at Cornwall Road SW, Lorenz Road SW and Delano Road SW near Lakebay Marina to improve visibility for those turning at the intersection. An eastbound left-turn lane for traffic turning from Cornwall onto Lorenz will be added, reducing one yield and two stop signs to a single stop sign on Lorenz. Crews will remove the gravel island and repave the intersection the week of September 23, and will take one day with restriping to follow.

Alternate Route to KP South

A project to extend 186th Avenue NW from 300 feet south of 19th Street NW to 1,400 feet north of Herron Road NW is in preliminary engineering, according to Pierce County Planning and Public Works. The new section is expected to include two paved asphalt lanes and gravel shoulders.

Following a 2018 collision that temporarily blocked KP Highway NW near Home and access to points south, the county determined there was a need for a secondary access road to the southern end of the KP.

Work to date has focused on tasks such as property research, survey efforts, and assessment of possible environmental issues, according to Brian Stacy, principal engineer, Planning and Public Works. “We expect to complete the initial design and cost estimate in a few months. There is currently no construction funding for this project, so a completion date is unknown,” he said.

Roundabout Option in Lakebay

Pierce County is currently analyzing options to reconfigure the three-way intersection at KP Highway NW, Lackey Road NW and Jackson Lake Road NW. 

“We have explored five alternatives and have considered the design concept, property impacts and costs,” Stacy said. “One of the alternatives considered is a roundabout at the existing intersection location.”

Residents will be able to weigh in at a future online open house.

“We will factor in any community feedback we receive through the online open house to help determine the preferred alternative, and will report on the findings of the engineering analysis and the online open house to the Land Use Advisory Commission,” Stacy said.  

There is currently no construction funding for this project.

Whiteman Road SW Repair Completed

Work to repair a culvert under Whiteman Road SW and install a guardrail was completed August 8. The culvert is located where the road intersects with Whiteman Cove Road SW.

The repair was needed to stop continued settlement of Whiteman Road due to a leak in the culvert’s pipe joints. Approximately 125 feet of guardrail was installed on the west side of Whiteman Road in the project area.

Depressions developed in Whiteman Road above the culvert, which required continued maintenance. “The purpose of the project was to repair the culvert pipe joints to protect the integrity of the existing roadway, but not necessarily extend the expected life of the culvert,” Stacy said.

“This work was covered by Pierce County’s programmatic Hydraulic Project Approval through the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. We are not aware of any impact to the Whiteman Road culvert due to the Whiteman Cove restoration project,” he said.