Getting You There

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In Chapter 2 of Getting You There below we talk about the cost of operating and maintaining our road system.  Learn more online about the cost of providing those services. (below)


It's an incredible journey from the first Kitsap County road that ran from Port Gamble to Agate Pass near Port Madison on Bainbridge Island to the 915 miles that Kitsap County maintains today.  Kitsap County Public Works has been getting you there since 1857.

This 2-chapter story map helps explain our past, our commitment to preserving our existing road system, and how we plan to meet the challenges of ensuring mobility into the future.

To select a chapter: click on story map below. In the upper right corner select "History" to view chapter 1. To skip to chapter 2 select, "What We Do." 


Getting You There”the Foundation, Funding and Future of the County Road System

Do you have a historical or interesting picture of the County’s road system? In the first section of the map we were fortunate to find some good pictures from the past. We’d like to share pictures you might have! If you have an interesting or historical photo you’d like to share, please upload it below. Provide as much information as you can about the photo and include your name.

To join the conversation, leave a comment, or submit a photo CLICK HERE

 Content Editor


  Snow and Ice Control

1) Snow and Ice Control.jpg

Snow and Ice Control = ~$70.00/hour for one employee in a plow truck during a regular 8-hour shift. The $70.00/hour cost does not include materials.

Planning makes plowing efficient

  • Crews follow a priority plan for efficiency.
  • Priority 1 roads serve schools, hospitals, employment and economic centers. They are cleared in the first 36 hours after the snow stops falling.
  • Priority 2 roads are minor arterial and collectors that connect to Priority 1 Roads. They are cleared in the next 36 hours.
  • About 600 of the over 900 miles of County-maintained roadways are Priority 1 and 2.

Cleaning up after the storm costs money too!

  • For each ton of sand applied we pick up about 1.2 tons of contaminated material.
  • Disposal fees for this waste is about $68 per load (roughly 12 tons).

Examples of cost of materials:

  • Sand is approximately $8 per ton. We use about 50-2000 tons per season depending on the severity of the snow and ice events. 
  • Salt is approximately $150 per ton. We use about 50-450 ton per season depending on the severity of snow and ice events.

"Snowmageddon"  Last February Kitsap County received over 20 inches of snow in 4 days. Here are the numbers:

    • 1,600 hour of overtime
    • 400 tons of salt and 3,600 tons of sand to clear the ice
    • 13,000 gallons of diesel fuel was used
    • Road crews plowed and treated nearly 46,000 miles
    • $500,000 cost to Public Works to respond to this one storm event

  Down Stop or Yield Sign

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​Down Stop Sign or Yield Sign  

What to do when you see a downed stop or yield sign?

  • After hours: Call 911
  • During business hours: call Kitsap 1: 360.337.5777 or go to and fill out the SeeClickFix form.
  • We respond immediately to these problems, 24/7.

What if it is a warning, regulatory or destination sign?

Call Kitsap 1: 360.337.5777 or go to and fill out the SeeClickFix form.

  • Warning signs (normally yellow diamond shaped) Examples: Large Arrows, Chevrons, Turn and Curve Signs, Schools, Pedestrians. Response to problems with these signs is immediate during duty hours.
  • Regulatory signs. Examples: Speed Limits, Intersection, Parking. These issues are addressed within 3 or 4 working days.
  • Destination signs. Examples: Street Name Signs. This category of signs can take a week or longer to replace. We may need to order or make them. as they may have a unique legend on the face of the sign.


  • It can cost up to $300 to replace a broken sign. Signs also need regular maintenance to keep them reflective and clear to see. Last year over 8,000 signs needed maintenance.
  • There are over 20,000 signs on county roads. 
  • Five sign specialists patrol the 900 miles of county roads and clean, install, and repair these signs.  
  • The yearly sign program costs from $400,000 to $500,000.

Additional Information

Learn more about Road Signs

  Chip Seal

3) Chip Seal.JPG

Chip Sealing

  • The average base cost of chip sealing is about $30,000 per roadway mile.
  • Chip sealing costs approximately one-third the cost of a typical asphalt overlay per mile of roadway.
  • Chip sealing extends the life of the road by 10 years to 20 years, depending on the original condition and use.

About Chip Seal

  • "Chip Sealing” is a common pavement preservation practice used to extend pavement life. It is a two-part application of applying oil and a layer of rock.
  • The primary function of chip seal is to seal the existing asphalt surface from water intrusion into the asphalt struture and underlying subgrade material.  Applied oil works its way into cracks and voids within the asphalt surface,  preventing further decay. The rock applied on top of the oil protects the newly placed oil and prolongs the life of the roadway.
  • All county roads are rated to prioritize projects. Ratings consider the overall condition of the roadway, patches, cracking, raveling, potholes, edge deterioration, and other signs that repair is needed.
  • Chip seal also adds a friction surface to the roadway, which is beneficial in snow and ice conditions, assisting vehicles to remain on the roadway.
  • Recycled asphalt can be used as chip rock reducing costs.
  • An average of 25 miles of roadway is chip sealed each year.

Learn more


  Guardrail Replacement

4) Guardrail Replacment.jpg

Guardrail Replacement

The purpose of guardrail is to protect errant motorists from running into something less forgiving than the guardrail such as trees, utility poles and steep slopes.  There are specific federal guidelines on where to place guardrails based on speeds, traffic volumes, and hazardous obsturctions. 

Guardrail is comprised of the rail and crash worthy treatments on both ends.  The end treatments are designed to absorb vehicle energy and to redirect rail away from the vehicle as it is encountered.


  • The end treatments cost up to $5,000 per end. 
  • The County spends an average of $42,000 annually on guardrails

  Salt Brine Application

5) Salt Brine Application.JPG


What is Salt Brine and why is it used?

  • Salt brine is a mixture of road salt and water. The salt content is 23.3% per gallon of solution.
  • Salt brine is used for anti-icing treatment applied to the road before an event. This is done when a dry period exists before the storm.
  • Salt brine is used for de-icing during a storm to remove the hard bond of snow and ice to the road surface.
  • Salt brine is used for "pre-wetting". This process applies salt brine to granular sand as it is applied to roadways. Pre-wetting the sand with salt brine allows the sand to melt snow and ice at a faster rate than applying just sand. It also improves the effectiveness of sand at lower temperatures.
  • Salt brine saves time by making plowing efforts more efficient. It saves money by reducing the amount of sand used during storms. Salt brine can cut two to three days off the time needed to clean up after a storm.


  • The Road Maintenance Department can make about 2,500 gallons of salt brine in one hour at a cost of roughly $160 per hour.
  • Cost to apply salt brine: One 6-hour shift, one truck, one driver will cover approximately 38 miles and disperse over 1,400 gallons of salt brine. It averages a little over $16 per mile to apply.

  PotHole Repair

6) Pothole Repair (2).jpg

Pot Hole Repair = $72 per pothole (materials, labor & equipment)

    • Over 2,300 potholes were repaired in 2019.
    • Potholes are repaired year-round using a cold patch asphalt that can be used at any temperature and stored in-house.
    • Potholes are often indicative of larger problems that are addressed during resurfacing or stand-alone maintenance.

  Road Striping

7) Road Striping.JPG

​Road Striping

  • The County stripes just over 600 miles of roadway each year.  If you include centerline and edge lines (if the road has them), crews paint approximately 1600 miles of stripes. 
  • To ensure all our centerlines and edge lines are bright and new we restripe them every year.
  • It takes about 27,000 gallons of white and yellow paint to restripe our roads each year
  • Several years ago, we transitioned from a solvent-based paint to a water-based paint to address safety and environmental concerns.
  • The water-based paint takes longer than the solvent based paint to dry.  During the dry summer months, the paint dries in less than a half hour.  As the days get colder and the humidity raises it can take hours to dry.  We avoid striping during these times of the year.


  • Our annual cost for striping each year, including equipment, labor and paint is approximately $500,000.

  Vegetation Removal

8) Vegetation Removal.bmp

Vegetation Removal

    • Each road district has about 600 lane-miles of roadway to maintain and has 2-3 mowers to complete the work.
    • Each roadside mower can accomplish 1-2 miles per day, depending on type and growth patterns of vegetation.
    • It takes two mowers about 150 days to mow an entire district.
    • Residents can choose to maintain the vegetation in the right of way adjacent to their property.
    • Over-head brush cutting clears branches and vegetation above the roadway.  Clearing overhead brush opens the roadway to light and air flow, which aids in melting snow and ice faster. It also improves sight distances.


    • It costs an average of $168 to mow a mile of vegetation.
    • About $850,000 was spent maintaining overhead brush in 2019.

To learn more, go to


9) Paving (2).jpg

Paving = $110,000 per mile (includes any subsurface deficiencies needing repair prior to resurfacing the road)

    • The life span of a newly paved road is about 15 years with no major improvements, and 20 years with minor surface treatments.
    • Paving can only be done when road surface temperatures exceed 55 degrees. This limits our paving window.
    • We continue to seek new technology and paving strategies and innovate where possible. We have been using a fiber additive made from Kevlar to help strengthen the asphalt on some of our heavier trafficked roadways.

To learn more, go to

  Grinding and Patching

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Grinding and Patching:

    • Grinding through the full depth of asphalt allows us to get to the base of the road and fix deficiencies below the asphalt surface.
    • Full Depth Grinding is done in preparation of our planned resurfacing projects and as stand-alone maintenance as well. We also grind pavement to facilitate drainage installation.
    • The asphalt material that is removed with the grinding operation is re-used for shoulder ballast. We have also started exploring its use in our chip seal program.


    • In 2019 we spent over $766,000  in labor, equipment, and materials for full depth patching. This cost is for stand-alone maintenance (ex. drainage installation, permanent patching) projects only and does include the cost for preparing roads for resurfacing. 
    • Due to the amount of equipment needed for this operation, grinding and patching is one of Road Maintenance's most expensive operations.

  Street Lighting

​Standard Street Luminaire​Decorative Street Light​Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon
​ ​ Street Lighting

  Raised Pavement Markers

12) Raised Pavement Markers.JPG

Raised Pavement Markers:

  • Raised pavement markers improve safety by increasing visibility of the roadway.
  • Reflectors are placed in a "ground out" depression to protect the reflector from damage by snowplows.


  • Replacement costs are about $30 per grind out and $1 per marker. 
  • We estimate replacing about 10 miles a year, costing approximately $40,000 per year. 

  Speed Radar Signs

Speed Radar Signs

  • The cost of each sign is  $7000 to manufacture.

  Storm Response

14) Storm response - Tornado.jpg

​Storm Response

Whenever a big storm strikes, Public Works is ready to respond. Crews respond 24/7, 365 days per year to whatever nature brings our way. Crews clear roads and ensure County utility operates through the storm, and after the storm is over.


  • Two employees responding to a call about a downed tree (assuming one hour to clear), costs approximately $270.

Port Orchard tornado response in 2019 (photo above). Here's some of the numbers:

  • Hauled 24 dump truck loads of debris from the area
  • Used 14 Road Closed Signs 
  • Three days of focused work within the area, with follow up sweepings on-going.
  • Equipment used: 1 large excavator, 1 small excavator, 2 boom trucks, 9 chippers, ten-yard dump trucks, 2 road sweepers, and 10 chainsaws
  • 23 crew members worked the first day of the storm.

To report a downed tree call Kitsap 1: 360.337.5777 (during business hours) or go to and fill out the SeeClickFix form.

  Traffic Signal

16) Klahowya Traffic Signal cropped.jpg

​Traffic Signal